Christmas

Beyond 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Holiday Poetry for the Harried

Photo Credit: Blue Lights, Snowy Night by William KlosFor many adults Christmas has become a rote observance of traditions wholly estranged from their original meanings. For others it is a sort of annual moral mulligan, a time to shower attention, gifts and good cheer on those who rightly deserve those things year-round. For still others it is a time to take stock of their lives—to measure themselves against the pervasive messages of the season and to inevitably judge themselves lacking.

The message of every “very special” Christmas Special on TV is that Christmas is not at all about the gifts and tinselly excess, but the advertisements strewn liberally throughout make an utterly convincing counter-argument.

Christmas from Page to Screen

book treeMore and more, it seems new movies in theaters and on television are adapted from novels and short stories. Christmas movies are no exception to this rule. In fact, some of the most beloved Christmas movies are based on the written word. Whether it’s a picture book, a short story or a novel, these books are just as magical as the movies they inspire, and both transport participants to Christmases full of family, love, redemption, traditions, flying reindeer and Whos down in Whoville.

This isn’t a complete list, but it does include some of my favorites (Rudolph!), as well as some more recent additions. If you’re in the mood for some holiday cheer, browse the HCPL catalog and request a book or movie (or both!) today!

 Kimberly’s Movie Picks:

HCPL: The Host of Christmas Present

Photo Credit: Untitled (Mr. and Mrs. Claus in Hawaii by Cliff1066It is probably safe to say that the “Winter Wonderland” of song is not forthcoming here in Harris County, Texas. Sad, maybe, but a fact of life in the subtropics, and truth be told a lot of folks moved down here for that very reason. They will tell you that behind the snowy Currier & Ives idyll is hours of shoveling and scraping in soggy socks.

While we may not be dashing through the snow anytime soon, it doesn’t mean Texans can’t whip up a whole lot of old-school, tinsel-strewn holiday cheer complete with chestnuts roasting and eleven pipers piping when we put our minds to it. HCPL is doing its part again this year with some special events guaranteed to keep your holidays merry and bright.

Christmas is Almost Here

Christmas is a special time of year for many. It is a time to honor family traditions and also create new ones.  My booklist is reflective of this; for I have included several books that I read every year, and also some new additions that are sure to become favorites among my nieces and nephews.

Movies & Music: A Holiday Tradition

origami ornamentChristmas is my very favorite holiday. I love everything about it. I love that Christmas lasts all month and one radio station plays nothing but Christmas music. I love trimming the tree and hanging stockings, baking cookies and eating them, too! I love giving presents (and receiving presents), dreaming of a white Christmas, and spending time with family. Most of all, I adore singing all my favorite Christmas songs and curling up on the couch and watching all my favorite Christmas movies.

Christmas Music Origins

Ever wonder about the stories behind all those Christmas carols playing on the radio?  These three books will tell you how songs like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "O Holy Night" came about. 
 
You may learn something about the songs you've been hearing, although it's no guarantee the music will stop spinning in your head.
 

The Reason for the Season

As much as I enjoy Christmas comedies and movies about Santa Claus, I also love films that remind us of the beginning of the holiday. Below I’ve listed movies that remember the reason for the season. Many of these are on my must-see holiday list.

 

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