Best Book Lists for Dec. 18-24, 2020

So This Is Christmas edition 🎅🎄

Merry Christmas, Friend,

I’m writing to you during a break from making a Yule log, which is a nice distraction from knowing almost none of our gifts and holiday cards are making it to their destinations by Christmas Day because of the pandemic.

Someone I think about whenever times get tough is my grandmother who grew up impoverished, the kind of poor that required shoving newspaper into the cracks of the shack to keep out the snow and cold. Grandma, whom we grandkids called mammaw, once remarked to me about The Good Old Days, “There was nothing ‘good’ about ‘em.” And now one of mammaw’s grandsons frets over not getting his custom-made holiday cards into people’s mailboxes before Christmas.

Ah, perspective. It’s a powerful thing, especially in writing. As Hans Christian Andersen never said (as far as I know), “You can’t be a good writer until you can put yourself in someone else’s clogs.”

Maybe that’s how we make this Christmas, and the days after, a little brighter for us all. Considering what it’s like to be in someone else’s Santa boots can bring empathy, compassion, kindness, and patience — no matter what happens outside our control.

Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading,
Nick


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