Friday, December 21, 2007

Eleventh Book of Christmas

This edition originally published: 1948

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, I needed to take a little "me time" and relax with some eggnog and cookies, and read a Christmas classic.

It just doesn't get any better than The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore. The edition I own is special to me because it's illustrated with folk art paintings by artist Grandma Moses, painted just for this book.

When you first open the book, the binding pages covered in a big, idyllic country winter scene in varying shades of grayish blues- it feels so wintry, I want to pull my quilt a little closer just looking at it. As you go through the book and read the poem, each page is illustrated with another folk-art scene showing country life. Sometimes the painting spans two pages; sometimes they're as simple as a candy cane or a toy drum interspersed with the poetry. The beauty and simplicity of the painting style is a perfect reflection of the poetry.

In my mind, no Christmas is complete without a reading of The Night Before Christmas. And this is just about the nicest edition I've seen.

(There is no link to purchase on the cover; the poem, a classic, is widely available in many editions but this particular version has not been republished to my knowledge and is unavailable new. If you want to find it I'd suggest Bookfinder or another used-book source.)

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