“What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever.” ~ Mary Jo Putney
Ho Ho Ho and Merry Merry!
How are you faring this holiday season? If you’re like me, you’re probably craving generous helpings of comfort, reassurance, and nostalgia to temper the reality of what has been the craziest, scariest, most distressing, heartbreaking, and unpredictable year ever.
As if she knew exactly what we needed, dear Susan Branch recently published Home for Christmas (Spring Street Publishing, 2020), a keepsake book that speaks to the very essence of the holiday: love, family, joy, cherished traditions and good food.
In a nutshell: good things come in small packages. There is so much more to this little book than meets the eye.
Yes, it contains Susan’s amiable handwritten text (does she ever get writer’s cramp?), a bevy of carefully chosen quotes, and of course, her charming watercolor illustrations.
She relates, in earnest and intricate detail, what her childhood Christmases were like, pointedly channeling her 9-year-old self in 1956.
Though I also loved her wonderful memoir trilogy, I found this book especially touching because her pure child’s heart fills every page.
Aside from being with family, when we say we want to be “home for Christmas,” perhaps what we truly mean is we wish we could be kids again, experiencing Christmas when it was magical, over-the-top exciting, and full of wonder. Before our adult selves equated the holiday with too much busyness, stress, reluctant obligations, and the whole bah-humbug thing, there was a time, when, with every ounce of our being, we believed.
Just in case you’ve forgotten, Susan’s here to remind you — of the anticipation that steadily built to a fever pitch from right after Thanksgiving until the big day finally arrived.Continue reading