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.