Monday, December 06, 2010

Redefining Christmas

Every year we vow to redefine Christmas.  We watch the TV stories about people stampeding into Walmart.  Well, we're not like that.  We never shop at Walmart, the nation's largest retailer.
I haven't gone mad yet.  That will happen the middle of the month when the packages pour in.  I'm planning to "regift" (a word I deplore), "crochet" (I put this in quotation marks because I drop many stitches), and make wreathes (I still have the material left over from the time I watched Martha Stewart).  
"Regifting" is a good but slightly cynical idea. I'm not giving away junk. What I do is slightly more personal.  I cull books from my own collection, which seems more respectful somehow than "regifting." 
Here are some favorite books to give away, and I admit I have extra copies of some. 
  • Tam Lin by Pamela Dean, my favorite fantasy novel.  It's about college life, Shakespeare, the legend of Tam Lin, classics majors, and the supernatural.  
  • The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis--perfect for the Narnia fan. This lovely, eerie fantasy novel is about the afterlife, sketching the difference between heaven and hell.  Heaven is a brilliant place where souls must let go of their sins to become real, and hell a gray city where people are perpetually discontented.  George MacDonald, whose fantasies influenced C. S. Lewis,  is the narrator's guide to heaven.  
  •  R. F. Delderfield's God Is an Englishman-- an old-fashioned sentimental novel about the Swann family and their establishment of a transport business in the 19th century.   
  • Midsummer Nights, edited by Jeanette Winterson.  A collection of short stories based on operas, which includes stories by Joanna Trollope, Kate Atkinson, Colm Toibin, and Sebastian Barry. 
  • Cathleen Schine's comedy, The Three Weissmanns of Westports, based on Austen's Sense & Sensibility.
I'm sure I'll do some shopping, but wouldn't it be good if I just left it at this?

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