The year began rather bleak, with the economy uncertain and my husband just recently unemployed, but somehow, some way we have made it through. There may be nothing left in the savings account, but we are now both gainfully employed in jobs that, for the most part we enjoy, and we are living in a house that keeps us safe and warm. Christmas Day was celebrated with all the kids + my mom spending the night in various sections of the house - and everyone actually getting along! It was such fun to watch the kids play the various games that Santa brought (who would have though that the $3.00 gift of Dominoes would be the hit of the day?!) and the holiday traditions seemed to be more meaningful this year. I am truly blessed.
While we do not officially celebrate Boxing Day in this part of the world, I took it upon myself to embrace this English holiday by relaxing all day Saturday, eating only fun, leftover holiday food, and reading on the couch in front of the well-lighted Christmas tree. It was truly relaxing! I was thrilled to pick up my copy of The Children's Book from the local library earlier in the week, and I have been snuggled up with it for most of the weekend. I know that it has received mixed reviews around the blogosphere, and while it is most definitely not a fast-paced, plot driven book, there is something very comforting about reading a book about an author of children's books and discovering how real-life events are transferred into fantasy stories.
Each child had a book, and each child had his or her own story. It had begun, of course, with Tom, whose story was the longest. Each story was written in its own book, hand-decorated with stuck-on scraps and coloured patterns. Tom's was inky-blue-black, covered with ferns and brackens, some real, dried and pressed, some cut out of gold and silver paper. Dorothy's was forest-green, covered with nursery scraps of small creatures, hedgehogs, rabbits, mice, blue-tits and frogs. Phyllis's was rose-pink and lacy, with scraps of gauzy-winged fairies in florid dresses, sweet-peas and bluebells, daisies and pansies. Hedda's was striped in purple, green and white, with silhouettes of witches and dragons. Florian's book was only little, a nice warm red, with Father Christmas and a yule log. (page 88)
I have always enjoyed scrapbooking and have tried to make one album for each of the children when they graduate from high school. The above passage reminds me of what I might do if I were a storyteller - and rather than make a scrapbook of memories, I would instead write each child their own fantasy story. There is something rather romantic in that daydream.
Since this book is over 650 pages long, I do not anticipate reading much else over my Christmas break. I do, however, plan to finalize my reading challenges for 2010 --- there are still a few that I am considering --- and I will make that one of my final posts of 2009. I will also need to review all the books that I have read this year and attempt to post the Cozy Book Nook's list of Best Books Read in 2009. There will be lots of literary activity over the next few days -- not the least of which will involve trips to Borders and Half Priced Books, as I received gift cards to both of these great stores. I plan to go by myself so that I may spend as much time as I want browsing up and down the aisles, reading book jacket flaps and introductory chapters, and carefully deciding which books to purchase now --- and which to add to the TBR list.
I hope that all of you had a wonderful, relaxing, blessed holiday spent with family and loved ones, and that you too are able to take some time for yourself in these last few days of the year.