Christmas Day in the Morning

I don’t remember how I discovered this beautiful little book, but when I saw that it was written by Pearl S. Buck, I knew I had to have it.  Christmas Day in the Morning is a treasure. It’s one of the most beautiful holiday books I’ve ever read — both the story and the illustrations (by Mark Buehner).  The true meaning of the holidays is shared in beautiful language and a very simple story.

The story is a memory of a Christmas long ago. The older man who tells the story remembers the Christmas 50 years ago, when he was 14, and how he overheard his parents talking on Christmas Eve and realized for the first time in his life that his father loved him.  He was so thrilled and wanted to give his father an extra special gift, but it was too late and there was no money left anyway.  So he decided to get up extra early and milk the cows before his father awoke.  It was a beautiful gesture, and a true gift of love, and his father was deeply touched by it.

I read this book to my 2nd graders this morning and they immediately wanted to do something for their families .  Each one of them wants to give a “gift of love,” so we worked on making holiday cards with a “gift of love” coupon inside.  One of the boys came to me and said, “I know what I can give my parents–I make a really good breakfast.”  I’m excited to see what other gifts of love my students decide to give their parents.

Pearl S. Buck is one of my favorite authors, and this book is her own gift of love to us.  It’s a book every family should share at this time of year.

12 thoughts on “Christmas Day in the Morning

  1. Lisa

    After having seen so many Christmas-themed book reviews this month, I almost passed right over your review. Then I saw that this one is written by Pearl S. Buck and knew that it was going to be a notch above the others. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!


  2. Robin Post author

    Petunia, it really is lovely. I hope you can find it. It’s a wonderful story for families.

    Thanks, Lisa. That’s exactly what I thought when I saw it — Pearl S. Buck = it is definitely a notch above many others.

    Kailana, I’d never heard of it, either, but I’m so glad I found it.


  3. Bellezza

    I love Pearl S. Buck. I’ve read The Good Earth more than a few times, and this children’s book sounds especially endearing (the pictures alone are beautiful!). I also try to have my students think of a love gift for their families; these things we teach are in many ways more important than Math. (How’s that for sounding like an elementary school teacher?!)


  4. Robin Post author

    Bellezza, I agree with you about the important things to teach. This is a lovely book and I know you’d love it.

    I love her work, too, Bybee. Which is her novel on Korea? I’m very anxious to read more of her work and am thinking of doing it as a personal challenge for 2010.

    Thanks, Les. It’s such a beautiful book, both story and illustrations.

    Nan, it’s a beautiful addition to a collection of special Christmas books.

    Debnance, definitely seek it out. The illustrations alone are worth the price of the book, but the story is really special.

    Stacybuckeye, I hadn’t heard of it either! I’m so glad I found it and could share it with everyone.


  5. Robin Post author

    Reblogged this on A Fondness For Reading and commented:

    A post this morning from the archives of my blog. I’ve just finished rereading one of my favorite Christmas books. This post, shared with you a number of years ago, tells the story of my discovery of this lovely book and how I used it each year in my classroom. Now that I’m retired, I miss sharing it with children. Perhaps you will carry on my little tradition of introducing the idea of a “gift of love” to the young people in your lives. Happy Holidays to you all!



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