Memories of Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book

Norman2I was sixteen years old when Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book was published. I was (and still am) a huge Rockwell fan and was delighted to discover this book under the tree on Christmas morning all those years ago.

I could write a book myself about how much I love this book, how I know every story in it by heart, how each of the 120 Rockwell illustrations are etched onto my brain. I still own it, and it’s a cherished part of my holiday.

I could never do justice to this book in a short blog post. Instead, I’ll let the world-famous authors whose works fill the pages speak for themselves.

The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.
(Hamlet by William Shakespeare)

I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone.
(My Christmas Miracle by Taylor Caldwell)

No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
(Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus by Francis P. Church)

My woods—the young fir balsams like a place
Where houses all are churches and have spires.
(Christmas Trees by Robert Frost)

“And so you see,” said Ursula, “I try to do a kindness in your name. And this is my Christmas present to you.” 
(A Gift of the Heart by Norman Vincent Peale)

She felt uplifted by a great surge of wonder and gratitude and compassion and love. And she knew what it was. It was the spirit of Christmas. And it was upon them all.
(The Miraculous Staircase by Arthur Gordon)

And a final message for peace on Earth and goodwill toward all:

God rest you merry, Innocents,
While innocence endures.
A sweeter Christmas than we to ours
May you bequeath to yours.
(A Carol for Children by Ogden Nash)