Christmas Tree Day! + CHRISTMAS BOOK REVIEW: advent storybooks day 8
Oh boy, oh boy! It's Christmas tree day!
Well, it was Christmas tree day yesterday, but things got a little hectic and I was only feeling like the one post. 🥰 Blogger privilege in 2020: don't post if you don't want to!!
I have to be honest, moving to New England has changed some things about Christmas trees for me. Alaska has LOVELY cedars, pines, and spruces, but none of them are very Christmas tree shaped ?? (the light access for 6-8 months of the year make them grow tall and lanky, not bushy and full! Also, we have a LOVELY little beetle problem that is slowly turning the taiga into a haunted forest I swear ...) We always bought our Chrsitmas trees pre-cut trees from a lot; these were not native species, but were shipped in from Washington and Oregon ... "fresh, never frozen!" The signs always proclaimed! And these trees were usually quite expensive ... but BOY did they look nice.
The last few years my family has gone tree cutting from different "u-pick" farms in the area. Tromping around and finding the perfect tree is more of an experience now, and a chance to ponder just how quickly things grow down here. Trees this size in AK were upwards of 20 years old? HOW ARE THE RINGS SO FAR APART WOW!!)
Isn't he a beaut!! (the tree, not my brother lol) Got a nice book review for you today! Something of a tear-jerker, but it has such lovely pictures 😭
Day 08 – The Clown of God – Tomie DePaola The story of a little beggar boy, Giovanni, and how he became a famous traveling juggler. Through his career as a traveling performer, Giovanni has made many people happy with his marvelous talent … but even clowns grow old, and Giovanni is soon unpopular among the younger generation. Frail, tired, and penniless, Giovanni returns to his hometown, and the only place he can find shelter is in the halls of a local church. The next morning, Giovanni discovers a procession of towns people are presenting gifts to a statue of the Madonna and Child in celebration of Christmas day. Giovanni notices how stern the Christ child is, and wishing to give a gift of his own, the old man offers his best performance. The statue is so moved by Giovanni’s juggling, that a miracle happens: the statue smiles! Another book from DePaola on my list this year! This is a retelling of a French miracle-story called The Juggler of Our Lady. It has several adaptations (I am most familiar with the 1958 animated version -- narrated by Boris Karloff!!), and they all center on the theme of using your talents for greater things. There is a particularly poignant interaction in the book when Giovanni is at the height of his career and traveling the countryside; he shares his lunch with two traveling monks, who liken Giovanni’s performances to their mission of spreading the gospel. This book is a little on the sad side, as it focuses on the futility of work without a god-centered life, but the message is ever hopeful: whatever it is that you can do, it’s never too late to do good with it!