Helen's preschool teachers gave each student in her class two books. However, I think Snowmen At Christmas is for the children (Cute snowmen! Hidden pictures on each page!), and Tonight You Are My Baby is really for the moms. It's written from Mary's point of view on the night Jesus was born; the refrain is, "Tomorrow you will be King, but tonight you are my baby...."
I cry every time I read it. "This star will bring the others and I will start to share. But tonight you are mine to give my tender care." This is SO how I felt in the hospital after each birth. You are mine for this 48 hours! MINE MINE MINE.
Then, the author goes in for the kill with an illustration of Mary nuzzling the baby's head saying, "I smile into your loving eyes and give you one more kiss./This quiet time with you, my son, is what I'm going to miss. As I sing a peaceful lullaby, you close your eyes to sleep./This night will be the memory that forever I will keep."
Excuse me. I need a moment.
Yes, it rhymes and is cheesy. I don't care. This is exactly how I felt with each newborn, and it makes me cry. In a good way. Right now it is $100 on Amazon. Wha? I'm sure the teachers got a good deal on Scholastic.
For Christmas, my parents are giving Helen A Christmas Like Helen's, which a granddaughter wrote about her grandmother's childhood. "To have a Christmas like Helen's, you'll need to be born on a Vermont hill farm, before cars, or telephones, or electricity, and be the youngest of seven children."
My mom let me read it ahead of time because there is a page that talks about Helen being sick from scarlet fever and almost dying. "Your parents will give you a locket with their pictures inside, and your father will carry you out to see the candles on the tree, thinking it will be your last Christmas. But it won't."
The illustrations are so beautiful and the story makes me weepy.
So, if you want to cry along with me, I recommend trying to read these books aloud to children. Uh, Merry Christmas!