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The Best Christmas Propaganda Ever

My book club – you remember them – is meeting for our holiday party tonight, and we always like to cut ourselves a bit of slack by picking a children’s book during this busy busy month. Last year we read each other’s favorite childhood titles, and this year we read a classic that several of us grew up reading year after year: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. If any of you read this one, or maybe saw the TV movie version from the eighties, you’ll remember it’s the story of the chaos that reigns when the worst kids in town decide they want to participate in the church Christmas pageant.

I remember finding this book absolutely enthralling and hilarious as a child, probably in part because of my membership in a family of 6+ children that, like the Herdmans, left a wake of havoc wherever we went. (I’d like to think I was a little better behaved than Imogen Herdman – I know I did a better job keeping my wild brothers in line than she did.)

As an avid re-reader of childhood faves, I’m often surprised to discover deeper meanings in stories that were lost on younger me, who raced through the pages gleefully as the Herdmanns rob the penny bank and say the H-word during rehearsal. Little did I realize that Ms. Robinson was sneaking in a lesson about compassion, about suspending judgment, about being grateful for our blessings and sharing them with those who are less fortunate. An important lesson to learn at the holidays…and to remember all year round!

Do you have any favorite books to read at the holidays? Ever re-read a book from your childhood and were surprised to learn what it’s really about?

 

 

One Response to The Best Christmas Propaganda Ever

  1. Joelle says:

    All the Betsy-Tacy books have a Christmas chapter (or two or three), so I usually get one of them out on Christmas Eve and make my husband listen to me read them aloud. Invariably, I end up reading the whole book. I also like to do that with the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

    I recently read Harriet the Spy and wow was it a different book than I remembered! Lots and lots of economic politics and social commentary in that book that I’m sure went right over my head.

    P.S. Still hating your Captcha. This is my third try. I’ve learned to copy my comment because it disappears when you do the captcha wrong.

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