Under Cover: A Barnes & Noble Christmas

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polarexpress1_HRESAlthough it has been Christmas in the department stores for several weeks now, I am a firm believer of letting poor Mr. Turkey have his day before we start decking the halls. So, despite the fact that I saw artificial trees at Costco right alongside the back-to-school supplies, I have avoided tuning the car radio to the 24-hour carol feed, and have even shown enough restraint to refrain from opening the new holiday CD I bought somewhere in the neighborhood of Halloween.

Now, however, potatoes have been mashed, footballs have been snapped, and we have taken a moment to reflect thankfully for the bounty we are fortunate to enjoy. So, I say…bring on the jolly!

If, like me, you are also ready to get your merry on, it turns out that Barnes and Noble is an excellent place to start.

At Fashion Island, the bookstore is marking the turning of the calendar page with several holiday-themed events that are sure to jumpstart the jingle, particularly for families with young children.

First up is an homage to the most prickly of holiday heroes: that loveable green grump himself, Mr. Grinch.

Long before Jim Carrey donned a furry green body suit, the Grinch has been reminding readers young and old that the holiday season is about more thangrinch_cover_w500 just goodies and gifts. In fact – spoiler alert – this remains perhaps one of my favorite passages from our holiday book collection:

“The Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! ‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.’ ‘Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’ And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say, that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!”

Young readers and their parents can be treated to the whole Grinchy story during a special storytime presentation of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” by Dr. Seuss, taking place Monday, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m. Following the reading, attendees can enjoy themed activities and refreshments festive enough even for those Whos down in Whoville.

If you still need a little help getting in the spirit, why not put on your jammies, and head back on Friday, Dec. 5, for a 7 p.m. pajama party reading of another classic tale, “The Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg.

It is hard indeed not to feel warm and fuzzy after hearing this tale, which brings to life the joy of childhood innocence and wonder, but the fact that hot cocoa will be served makes it downright impossible.

Every kid, and kid-at-heart, who refuses to give up their belief in the magic of Christmas will feel their heartstrings pull at these opening lines: “On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound — a sound a friend had told me I’d never hear — the ringing bells of Santa’s sleigh. ‘There is no Santa,’ my friend had insisted, but I knew he was wrong.”

13.12.05.book_drive_1While at Barnes and Noble, be sure to take the opportunity to participate in their annual Holiday Book Drive. Taking place from now until Dec. 31, the book drive is an opportunity to purchase and donate books, giving the gift of literacy to children in our community. This year, donations will benefit students in area schools.

As we reflect on the magic and wonder that make our holidays what they are, let’s not forget the lessons learned from these tales: the holidays will come, with or without their trappings, and if we can remember to find our joy, not in expensive gifts and gadgets, but rather, in our loved ones, there will always be cause to celebrate.

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