12 December 2013

Memories of Christmas


Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!, edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark
Well, it's a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book, so you know it's going to be full of heartwarming stories about children, pets, and unselfish people. If this is your bag, revel in it. My favorite story? The one about the grandmother taking her grandchildren to see The Nutcracker, and how one of her grandsons interpreted the title. [giggle]

The Big Book of Christmas Plays, edited by Sylvia F. Kamerman
I picked this up at the fall book sale with memories of the play magazines. Remember those? Schools used to subscribe to them and they'd come monthly during the school year, with five or six appropriate plays for each month: Thanksgiving and perhaps Veterans Day in November, Hallowe'en in October, Valentines Day in February, etc. Of course the December issue was taken up mostly with Christmas plays. In sixth grade I got the chance to pick out the sixth grade play out of one of these books, and I did pick a play with a good role for my best friend.

This book is a compilation of later plays (from 1988; there's even a play with a pseudo-Apple computer in it). Surprisingly, they were still writing some really cute school plays back then. The first, for example, involves estranged friends reunited by their children. Another is about a Man Who Came To Dinner type who ends up writing a play for children with the nudging of his secretary. One is a very funny farce about a couple who are supposed to appear on television as a typical couple; instead of decorating with the usual tree and baubles, the wife wants to stage something unique and starts to collect all the items in the twelve days of Christmas song instead. There's also a sentimental offering about an elderly couple who run a variety store who are graced with a star with something extra. Later Santa Claus competes with a computer and Ebenezer Scrooge takes up with Snow White and the seven dwarves.

This was a lot of fun to read and brought back some great schoolday memories.

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