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Books at Christmas

Friday, December 25th, 2009 | Posted by Bill Ward

holiday-tree-book-artSome of my fondest Christmas memories involve getting (and, later, giving) a new crop of books as gifts every year. Unique among my interests, books have bridged the gap from childhood to adulthood — from the era of plastic battlesets and bolt-spitting robots to that of of daily planners, jumper cables, and bottles of Irish Cream. Books have always been there.

In fact, they tend to be the only thing that still recaptures a bit of that childhood glow of excitement of getting a gift, for me at least. The car wax, wide-toed socks, and jumbo pack of batteries are all very nice and thank you — they just don’t spark the imagination. And I think, ultimately, when you’re a kid that’s what all the excitement is about — not the getting per se, but the finding out. As a kid Christmas, for those of us privileged Westerners that celebrate the holiday in all its modern commercial glory, is an undiscovered country. In a society increasingly dominated by instant gratification, it may be one of the few delayed pleasures left to todays’ children.

And books always hold that promise of exploration — even when firmly in our hands they are unknown to us, not yielding up their secrets until we’ve read them. And reading, too, is a form of play, of the kind of stimulation we partake in less and less as responsibility waxes and innocence wanes. I’m seldom surprised by the titles of the books I’m given as gifts — after all I’m usually the one that suggested them in the first place — but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because a book is a wrapped gift in-and-of-itself, and needs no bow, ribbon, or paper to make it so.

4 Comments »

  1. […] Black Gate » Blog Archive » Books at Christmas […]

    Pingback by Loose Leaf Green Tea | Loose Leaf Green Tea - December 25, 2009 7:41 am

  2. […] responsibility of coming up with something for Christmas. So, go scan ye merry gentlemen ‘Books at Christmas,’ a simple post I’m offering for kids from one to ninety-two. In it I talk about how […]

    Pingback by Not A Creature Was Stirring. . . — Bill Ward - December 25, 2009 12:56 pm

  3. I tried to give as many books out as i could this season. I got my girlfriend a vampire novel (she’s been getting into those a lot) my mother a copy of a christmas carol and other christmas short stories by Charles Dickens, my brother The Simarillion(to lazy to look up exact spelling) by Tolkien and the book Orcs, and i got my cousin Return of the Archwizards (a forgotten realms trilogy in the 3.5 setting). all in all i could have given more books and i wish i would have because they are the gift that keeps on giving

    Comment by Glenn - December 26, 2009 2:00 am

  4. […] at the site of Black Gate, this cute book tree would be a perfect show piece to decorate your bookshelf  during Christmas. […]

    Pingback by Trees Made Out of Books: For Book-themed Christmas – Printsasia - December 13, 2012 8:11 am


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