Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Traditions and A Gift Idea

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

Hi girls -

It's a Christmas tradition that spans a couple generations in my family...reading "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore.  My grandfather read it to my dad.  My dad read it to us.  And now, my husband and I read it to our children.  This year to honor that tradition I thought it would be fun to have a night-before-Christmas theme for the holidays (remember my mantle from last week?).  I have been stalking leisurely scoping local Goodwills over the last couple months to find different copies of this book.  There are so many wonderfully illustrated versions of Moore's beloved Christmas poem.

Some of my favorites from my own collection include this signed Will Moses version from one of my best friends:

And this year, my mom bought me the copy below on Ebay after dropping some not-so-subtle hints:

I heart Eloise Wilkin!
It's illustrated by Eloise Wilkin.  Ms. Wilkin lived and worked in Rochester, New York (my hometown).  Her pictures of children are so distinct and remind me of my own children.  Plus some of the homes and buildings in her artwork could be modeled after local places!  (Also, just saying, but Christina Applegate recently said one of her favorite children's books is this Eloise Wilkin classic.  That's how I roll...just me and the celebs).

This is the version I remember from my childhood.  It's illustrated by Tasha Tudor:

I'd know that cover of Santa and the corgi anywhere.

Here are a couple Goodwill finds (99 cents a piece).  These are what I used to decorate my mantle.

In addition to the books I've collected, I decided we needed one more to add to the lot.  I asked my oldest, my six-year-old, to illustrate the poem.  Then, I turned those images into a photo book. 

Here's an example...
"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse."

I took a picture with my camera then uploaded it to Picaboo. I resized it to fill the entire page once in Picaboo.  

FYI - The black portion should be cut out after printing.  Picaboo gives you parameters when you are composing your book.
I just published my book and will hopefully get it in the mail today!  I scored a good deal on a Groupon.  What could be more awesome than a book illustrated by your child?!  I know it's a little last-minute for this idea but you might have some luck with one of the local drug stores.  Or, have it published and just collect the drawings to give for the time being.  

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.  

Merry Christmas to All,

Mrs. Williams Comment:  I love the handmade book as a Christmas gift, and I never would have thought to take photos of the pages so that they could be turned into a book.  You're so clever Mrs. K.!

Mrs. Gosling comment:  I can hear the cracklin' of the fire right now.  What a great idea and perfect gift for grandparents, siblings or the next addition to your Christmas mantle.  Good job Professor!

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