My apologies on a late start for this year’s Christmas book Advent list. This Christmas season is already shaping up to be even more packed with all the amazing festivities NYC puts on. It is so exciting to be here and seeing it all, but it is even more incredible to be living it with our toddler. It feels like the holiday is once again brand new to her and that means all the books are too! It is so fun to be “introducing” the holiday to her and wondering if she’ll remember anything this time around. I found myself picking out specific books for certain days as a way to build up and explain things as they arrive. What an added joy to this lovely season!
For our first book, I chose a new book to us, but quite old in its age. It is an excellent fit for simply introducing the holiday. Christmas is Coming by Marcia Martin, pictures by Alison Cummings is a Wonder Book from 1952 and it drips of sweetness. It has a lovable, wholesome family from the 50s and a quick overview of the many nostalgic aspects of the holiday from the darling children’s perspective.
I found this copy via a new source just a few weeks ago, and while it is nearly falling apart and has yellowed pages, we are fully embracing its new life on our shelves and delighting in its 50s sweetness. Bobby and Sally are the main characters from this family, although Baby does make a lot of appearances.
The children are ecstatic that Christmas is coming and fully dive into all the family preparations for the big day. They hang a wreath on the door, make Christmas cookies, visit the jolly Santa at the big store, buy lights and a tree, and wait as patiently as possible for Christmas to finally come.
While the plot is simple and definitely hearkens to the bygone era with its gender roles seeping through, I love the general overview of the holiday. Christmas is a special time and deserves days and days of waiting and anticipating it. These little, perfectly 50s named children are lovely guides to show the joys of the holiday and how to keep very very busy getting everything ready. When the day does arrive for them, it is full of sweet family time and even extra presents from Grandma and Grandpa along with a big Christmas feast. And on a great note, the book ends with the children exclaiming how they can hardly wait until next Christmas. Oh to be a child at Christmas again!
I did look up both author and illustrator, but unfortunately being a book from the 50s, it yielded little results. Marcia Martin appears to be a popular children’s book author whose real name was Marcia Levin. Her style here is narrative and simple without much pomp. The illustrator, Alison Cummings, does seem to have a few books to her illustration portfolio, all of which seem to include these peachy-skinned, blonde kiddos. I do love the strong, vibrant color of these pages that have lasted over 60 years! That Santa suit still looks so deliciously red. And the outfits, while I know they are mostly representative of the fashion in that time, I just love them! I’m so glad she sprinkled patterns throughout like on the living room armchair, the bedspreads, and even the kitchen wallpaper. Christmas is a perfect time to get nostalgic, even about eras you didn’t live in. Christmas is coming!
Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas Books 2014!