Did you ever wonder how the whole decorate the outside of
the house with Christmas lights and yard ornaments got started? Mystery solved. In the book the Christmas House Georja Skinner tells the story of “how one man’s dream changed the way we celebrate Christmas.”
Ms. Skinner writes, “…my father turned the decoration of the
home at the holidays into a new art form, and many people today credit him with
launching the holiday decorating tradition that is still practiced today.”
George Skinner, Georja’s father, contracted polio when he was a young man. While recuperating at Los Angeles County General Hospital in 1934, George escaped the pain of physical therapy treatment by reminiscing about past Christmas celebrations.
George was a glass flowing over the top kind of guy. Released from the hospital, he dwelted on how he could thank all the people who had helped him recover. While he focused on rebuilding the muscles in his arms and legs, he had an epiphany to decorate the Hollywood suburban house he shared with his father, Albert.
Working with their church and neighbors, George and his carpenter father transformed their simple bungalow into the Christmas House. Complete with a wishing well, which talked back to children who wished for Christmas gifts, the Christmas House had real snow from Utah, homemade cut-outs of Santa, and lots of lights. All of Los Angeles was excited to visit the Christmas House for the second year, then tragedy struck. Read the story to find out how George and his family never gave up on giving the gift of Christmas magic to those they loved.
Other Inspiring Chirstmas Stories:
Aside from the original Christmas story, my favorite is Christmas Gift! by Ferrol Sams. It is another story about the magic of sharing at Christmas. Mr. Sams, a Southern storyteller, uses humor to describe the Christmases of his Depression era childhood. If you were raised north of the Mason-Dixon Line, you may want to have Southern friends handy for translations.
Other Christmas stories recommended by my local library are:
Skipping Christmas by John Grishman
A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry
Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins
The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor
The Traditions of Christmas by Nancy J Skarmeas