I've done a bit of organising and forward planning for it, and have already had my fill of the outrageously commercial side of Christmas, but the real spirit of Christmas starts for me with the Glasgow Hospitals Choir Carol Concert at the Royal Concert Hall, which raises funds to help children with cancer and their families to stay together close to the hospital during treatment.
Our friends have sung in this choir for many years. A boy soprano singing my favourite carol In The Bleak Midwinter, and a South African song in tibute to Mandela, brought a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye.
If this isn't goodwill I don't know what is. You could feel the love!
Heartwarming and very Christmassy.
I'm properly in the mood now for what Christmas is really all about.
Are you there yet?
But I'm keeping it simple, and chose white.
The last chocolate has been eaten from the advent calendar!
I love to think of all the excited children around the world tucked up in bed trying to get to sleep tonight.
....whether spoken, written, or sent down from on high.
Joy to you all for Christmas, and many thanks for reading my words this past year!
Continuing from yesterday's post....
The endpaper is like an invitation to the other world that is a picture book.
I've photographed a few here from the children's Christmas books - blue predominates, and snow effects and Brian Wildsmith's gold endpapers in A Christmas Story have a feel of magic to them. (I think you can tell how much the children in this family have liked the gold by the number of little fingerprints all over it!)
I love to pause slightly on these special pages when reading a book to children.
In the absence of special endpaper, (or beginning paper) the first illustration can set the scene for what is to follow.
Just as the opening sentence of a novel is considered very important, so, I believe, is the first picture in a picture book.
Often the illustrator achieves a special effect, a hint of mystery, by minimal means as in the one small parcel in the big expanse of snow here in Santa's Littlest Helper Travels The World by Anu Stohner and Hennrike Wilson. How did it come to be there, you want to know....
Your curiosity is aroused by the single loose balloon in Mog's Christmas by Judith Kerr..
and where can this lone hedgehog be heading, so determinedly, nose sniffing the cold air? The Winter Hedgehog by Ann and Reg Cartwright.
Beautiful, and clever!
Someone said that Christmas brings out either your inner child, or your inner curmudgeon! What do you think?
I've written before (7 Dec 2010 and 20 Dec 2010) about collecting children's Christmas books, and what my criteria are for choosing what I consider to be the best each year. The quality of the illustrations is especially important for me, but this year's choice is nothing special in that regard (at least to my eyes).
The illustrations by Elisa Squillace are quite sweet, with nice details. However two year old Scott loves this book. The music is written by Anthony Marks. Each animal character plays a different part on a different instrument and they all rehearse individually then come together in a concert at the end. So as the story proceeds the child presses the buttons to hear each melody, then hears them come together in harmony....
Delightful, to little ones, especially perhaps those who have just discovered the piano and are fascinated by it. Scott patiently plays the keys one by one over the whole keyboard, and laughs out loud as he plays the low notes....
The book has pretty spotted endpapers. More about endpapers tomorrow.
If you have the time and the inclination a browse in the category Simply Christmas will lead you to lots more posts on children's Christmas books....
This is a little red felt bag I like to keep my cards, stamps and Christmas Card List in. It's almost empty! Tomorrow is the last posting day for second class post....