Its pages are tattered, its cover held together by masking tape, and its corner missing where our dog took a bite. Despite these shortcomings, it’s a cherished Christmas treasure. Growing up, my mother would unpack that Christmas Ideals Magazine as soon as Thanksgiving was over, and only put it away after the decorations were safely returned to their boxes.
The beautiful illustrations and pictures caught my attention as a child, certainly, but it was the stories that captivated me. “The Juggler of Notre Dame” and “Annie’s and Willie’s Prayer” were two favorites. Now decades later, I can still recite stanzas from the later, a poignant poem that always makes me tear up when I read it.
Each year, I look forward to bringing forth that magazine. Not only as a reminder of the stories my mother read to me on the weeks building to Christmas, but as the beginning of the Christmas season and the start of the season-readiness process. I don’t need to read the stories anymore to (continue reading →)