Treasured Time with a Child


The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.”  ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

If you visited All Things Fulfilling yesterday, I made a promise I intend to keep today. Here is a short list of my favorite children’s books, published in the 1980s ,when I was raising our young son. At the time, there was  nary whisper of the changes that were on the horizon for the publishing industry, at least not that I was aware of. Thus, the following books are mostly, if not all,  traditionally published. 

In today’s world, there are many fulfilling reads, for children and adults, published independently of the big six or seven conglomerates. What changes we have witnessed in publishing over the past ten or twelve years!  

Jan Brett’s books ranked high on our list of treasured children’s books. Living in the north country of Vermont, our family related to the Nordic themes and art illustrations that were present in most of Jan’s books:

  • The Mitten
  •  Trouble with Trolls
  •  Annie and the Wild Animals
  • Wild Christmas Reindeer

New Hampshire author, Tomie DePaolo’s books, claimed a stake in our hearts, too. My son’s love of Native American history and lore drew us to several of Tomie’s books.

  • The Legend of Indian Paintbrush
  • The Legend of Blue Bonnet
  • The Legend of the Poinsettia 

A few others to consider by various authors:

  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (now adapted for film)
  • The Napping House
  • The Jolly Postman
  • The Polar Express (also was adapted for film) 

Don’t forget to take time out of this busy holiday season to appreciate God’s gift to you, your child. Spending time with the little ones is far more valuable than anything you will ever find in a shopping mall! The rewards are great for both parent and child. 

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Observing Darkness and Light

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Every moment of dark and light is a miracle.” ~ Walt Whitman 

A Christmas tree gives rise to thoughts of darkness and light. Have you ever noticed how people’s interpretation of what makes a pretty tree is so opinionated and individual?

Many families argue while putting up a Christmas tree. Some like it simple, some more ornate. A modest nativity scene indicates to some that, indeed, Christmas is here. Others like their homes, properties and trees lit up like the night time neon lights of the Las Vegas strip. Some families like simple homemade strings of popcorn, and cranberries or perhaps pine cones sprayed with gold paint will do. An evergreen wreath hung on a door and lit by a single spot light is beauty at it’s best for some individuals. It is interesting how a certain holiday decorating style can be fulfilling to one, atrocious to another. It is all a matter of personal opinion. How about you? What is your idea of good taste? 

As we all know, a good way to tell whether the lights and ornaments are well-placed on a tree is to step back and take a look. You can find the spaces that are empty and fill them with shimmery light. 

It is like life. In order to move away from the darkness, we have to discover the light. In this upcoming holiday, find it – seek it! Stop and listen to the carolers, spend a day or evening walking Main Street. Join in the energy of the shoppers. Listen to beautiful holiday music. Bake a batch of Christmas cookies for an elderly person or a military veteran who has no family at all. It will lighten your spirit and brighten your day along with some one else’s, too. 

Watch out! You might just get caught up in the spirit and feel the swish of a magic stick over your world. What a fulfilling thought that is!

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