Last night I brought out our big "Christmas Treasury" book to share with J&N. My mom got us this book last Christmas. It's a huge tome, nearly 16 inches by 18, full of Christmas stories and carols and classic paintings. I'm sure my mom pictured us all curled up on the couch together, reading through the pages, engaging in family together-ness. I confess I pictured the same thing as I hefted the enormous thing off the shelf (or rather, from on top of our stereo speaker - we don't have a bookcase in the living room) and heaved it onto the floor in front of the boys. They were immediately excited by the Norman Rockwell Santa painting on the front cover and eager for me to start reading. I lay between them, opened the book, and started reading the story of baby Jesus. I quickly realized it was going to be hard to keep them interested - too many words, not enough pictures. I read faster then resorted to just flipping through to find paintings or illustrations. I could tell them were trying to humor me, remaining quiet and yet doubtful, while I excitedly showed them Christmas scenes painted in classic style, picaresque and beautiful. N finally solved the problem. He grabbed the back cover and closed the book, announcing "The end!"
And that was the end. This year, at least.