Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Make Reading Part of Your Christmas Tradition

Christmas time is reading time as we celebrate the holidays each in our own way. Last December the Southeast Arlington Reading Group read the novel, Finding Noel, by Richard Paul Evans.
"When I was a boy, my mother told me that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. I'm not sure if I believe that's true. The thought of God weaving millions of lives together into a grand human tapestry seems a bit fatalistic to me. Still, as I look back at my life, it seems at times when such divinity is apparant. None is more obvious to me than that winter evening when I met a beautiful young woman named Macy and there ensued the extraordinary chain of events that encounter set in place. Of course such a theory carried to the extreme would mean that God sabotaged my car that night because, had my car's timing belt not broken at that precise moment, this story never would have happened. But it did, and my life was forever changed. Perhaps my mom was right. If God can align the planets, maybe He can do the same to our lives."
So begins the wonderful Christmas love story of two people Mark Smart and Macy Wood. Mark's mom recently was killed in a car accident and his relationship with his father is troubled. Macy can barely remember her birth parents and she would like to forget the family she was adopted by. All she has is a Christmas ornament with the name "Noel" on it. This was the only clue to the younger sister she barely remembers. This clue leads Mark and Macy on a journey of restoration of the past and of both their families.

In the Epilogue Mark brings completion to the story.
"There are stories, Christmas stories that are stored away like boxes of garlands and frosted glass ornaments, to be brought out and cherished each year. I've come to believe my story is a Christmas story. For it has forever changed the way I see Christmas. That season I learned perspective, for Joseph the carpenter and Stuart the auto mechanic both raised someone else's son. We don't know much about Joseph; the Bible tells us little. But I've gained a new respect for the man."
And he goes on to say that in the first Christmas story it was a story of searching. Mary and Joseph sought in Bethlehem a place to start their own family, the three wise men searched for the King of Kings, and "the shepherds sought a child in a place most familier to them: a manger." And that we search for the familiar every year when we experience the food and traditions of Christmas.

So this Christmas start the tradition of reading and make your own Christmas memories to revisit year after year. Join a reading group, read alone, read to and with your family during this Christmas time. The important thing is to read. It's your choice.

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