Photo by Michael Buckelew
When it came to Christmas picture books, you had your favorites.
Maybe it was Mom's voice as she read those stories you'd heard dozens of times when you were a kid, or maybe it was the stories themselves.
Either way, you loved those old familiar tales and the pictures that went with them. There's nothing like a good Christmas story to put you in a merry mood.
So why not recapture those happy holiday feelings? You can with "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Cheer" by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, edited by Amy Newmark, available in three separate CDs.
For weeks now, you've been humming carols and hanging decorations, but there's something missing. It doesn't feel quite like Christmas yet, and you need a Noel nudge. With more than 30 different tales on each CD, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Cheer" gives you just that.
In "The Gift of Grr-Face," a young mother struggles to pay her son's medical bills. When the bill is resolved, the doctor gets riches he never expected.
Holidays long ago were often lean, and a kid was lucky if Santa left him what his heart desired. In "The Cowboy Suit," a child gets his most-wanted wish for Christmas, but the wish almost causes disaster. When his mother saves the day, the boy understands that he already had the most important gift of all.
Christmas is for sharing good tidings, and in "Our Matchbox Christmas," a young family invites three soldiers to celebrate the day with them. But there was nothing suitable beneath the tree for the soldiers -- or was there?
Not being home for Christmas is bad; it's worse, if you spend it in prison. In "One Cup at a Time," nobody feels like celebrating behind bars, but the guards put up a tree anyhow. It takes hardened criminals to find the miracle within the branches.
If Christmas is a non-holiday in your house, then give a listen to "A Jewish Christmas Story." When a young refugee is given the ultimate gift by her parents, she learns to embrace the beautiful symbolism and meaning of the holiday she's not supposed to love.
Sometimes, in the craziness of shopping, wrapping, and baking, you might find yourself yearning for Yule of a different sort. "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Cheer" in audio is a refreshingly different choice.
Like others in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" franchise, "Christmas Cheer" in audio is packed with short, quick stories from people around the world and of all ages. Every story gives you a different perspective on the holiday, on gratitude, and on making Christmas more personal and meaningful.
Best of all, these three audiobooks are completely lacking in "four-letter words," which means you can share them with just about anybody.
If you do like sharing Christmas stories or if there's an unfulfilled name on your gift list, "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Cheer" may be what you need. And at a non-budget-busting, stocking-stuffer price, they'll quickly become your holiday favorites.
"Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Cheer" by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, edited by Amy Newmark and performed by Sandra Burr and Dan John Miller, with a 2010 copyright by Brilliance Audio, is $9.99.
Contact book reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer at www.bookwormsez.com.