Nga mihi o te Kirihimete ki a koe (Christmas geetings to you.
It comes but once a year and wherever you are no doubt you will be celebrating it in some form or another. For some it’s the finishing of school or business for the holidays. Maybe you have been packing for that long-awaited trip away. You maybe enjoying the day with family and friends or simply putting your feet up to listen to the Christmas sermons and carols on the radio or tv and enjoy the peace and tranquility with a hot toddy! Some will be cuddled around an open fire after enjoying a day of fun and joy in the snow, while others are slapping on the sunscreen and sunglasses as they enjoy their holiday at the beach.
Many of us, such as myself, will be remembering loved ones and friends who are no longer with us. Only yesterday we heard of a passing of a dear young friend, and while it came as a shock it is the special things about her I will always remember. Her lovely smile, her bravery, and caring, gentle nature with everyone she met. She was an advocate for Children’s Rights in Cambodia, and I will always be grateful for the short time I knew her.
It is also around this time those less fortunate than ourselves, comes to mind. Remembering the good work done at “Big Brother Mouse,” and other organisations, I thought I would share a lovely book I came across during a quick visit to the library last week. I felt it really showed the true spirit of Christmas. I would also like to post this as a tribute to my dear friend, Naram.
The Bears Christmas Surprise
Illustrated by: Angela Kehlenbeck.
Published by: North South Books- New York /London
Age: five and up
Theme: the giving, true meaning of Christmas
First line: It was Christmas Eve. A bear with a red bow tie sat forgotten on the bookshelf. He had been there for years. Hours of play and then neglect had made his fur dull and shaggy. But the corner of his eyes still held the glow from the time when he first was clasped in a child’s arms.
Synopsis: A heart-warming story of a shaggy stuffed bear who slipped out on Christmas eve to join other bears of all shapes and sizes in sneaking into houses and removing the presents from under the Christmas trees and replacing with mysterious little notes. One can only imagine the shock on Christmas morning when children far and wide opened their presents only to find a note and no gift at all. But it is not until they read the note’s simple message do they get the real meaning behind it. What happens next really shows the true spirit of Christmas and the flow-on effect is sweet and a joy. It will bring tears to your eyes.
Why I like it: Bruno Hachler is a Swiss singer song-writer and this is his first book for North South, has brought a new twist to a holiday festive season with page turning anticipation. Angela’s illustrations are cute and wistful. Those stuffed teddy bears thought only of those less fortunate, the tired and old, and lonely. It’s taking this special time to be kind, gentle and forgiving of one another and to remember the true spirit of Christmas. So go ahead, wish someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. a Merry Christmas! Oh, and if you have a stuffed Teddy Bear on your shelf or wardrobe, bring him out and give him a hug too!
Merry Christmas to you all. Enjoy the festivities with family and friends, keep safe, all the best for 2014 and I look forward to seeing you all then.