a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for December 4, 2012

joy of words

< by Eliza >

From the time we were small, our dad always read my brother and me the classics. Before words were words, they were black smudges across the page that created a maze I tried to decipher, curled up against my dad’s shoulder as he read to Sam and me from the works of C. S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien, among others.

Around Christmastime, any one of these would be put aside for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In our house, this was a given — every year, at about the beginning of Advent, cozy before the fire, Dad would set down whatever installment of the Lord of the Rings he happened to be in the middle of reading to us, instead picking up Dickens’ classic tale of forgiveness and rebirth, a beautiful story to be read at that time of year.

I don’t suppose there are very many 23- or 29-year-olds that can recite lines from this masterful English classic — “Marley was dead to begin with … This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate” — or can picture Ebenezer Scrooge watching his nephew’s family playing at Christmas games, or Marley’s ghastly pigtail being caught in the door. But we can.

Yes, this might sound pretentious (ya got me), but it’s exactly these thoughts and memories that I carry with me, now out in the world on my own, that tend to bring me comfort and joy at this time of year, remind me of the meaning of this season, and wrap me, once again, with the warmth, hope, and joy I felt as a small child nestled beside my father.