Here is an anthology of stories, songs, poems and memories that will remind you of your own childhood Christmases -- just the way a Rockwell painting or illustration evokes all those nostalgic feelings. It's a great book for a family to own together, because there is something in it for everyone. In addition to poetry by Shakespeare and Milton, there are stories from Laura Ingalls Wilder, O. Henry, and Hans Christian Andersen -- plus so many of your favorite carols! And it's all accompanied by so much beautiful Rockwell art. First published in 1977, it was revised and expanded in 2009. So you may have a family memory of owning a version of the book, but this newer edition has even more to love!
I think it's an interesting phenomenon that for so many people, Rockwell's art evokes memories -- and they feel like true memories -- of a childhood that we didn't necessarily experience ourselves. That cultural memory still feels so powerful -- at least it does for me.
This painting is included in the book. I have always I loved it. Apparently Rockwell tussled with the editors of LIFE, who wanted him to eliminate the Arab and one of the Israeli soldiers from the painting. He refused. He said that the soldiers were always, always in pairs. And that Bethlehem was the Arab man's home.
Well, so this image is not in the book, but most of you know why it's here. I mean, come on!