Back to Christmas

back to christmasYou hear a lot of people complain about the commercialization of Christmas.  You see a lot of signs and memes reminding us that Christ is the “reason for the season.”  You read all kinds of articles about how we need to spend less time on social media and more time in real conversations with real people.  This weekend I read a pretty special little book by Dennis Canfield that makes those points, and a few more (maybe even more important), in the most delightful way.  It’s called Back to Christmas, and although it is considered a children’s book, everyone will enjoy this fun yet meaningful tale.

The story starts with Marmel who takes his job as head labeling elf (you know, “naughty” or “nice”) so seriously that he begins to believe the whole point of Christmas is to separate people into groups.  When the naughty list dwindles down to only one family, Marmel worries that he will soon be out of a job, so he embarks on a mission to make sure they stay on the naughty list… permanently!

Of course, Santa wants everyone on the nice list, so he recruits his brother, Reverse Santa to help.  That’s right, Reverse Santa.  He wears green, lives at the South Pole, and instead of giving gifts, he takes things away!

In the middle of it all is the Krumwerth family, headed straight for the permanent naughty list.  Only one of them, daughter Amanda, knows the danger, and now she must try to undo years of naughty behavior and steer everyone toward the nice list.

In addition to all that, Canfield enlists the help of flying penguins (ridiculous yes, but no more so than flying reindeer), a heavy metal rocker named Repo, more elves, and a little bit of magic to advance the story to its moving conclusion.  This is a perfect holiday story to enjoy on your own or to share with a child or anyone else.  Who knows?  You may help someone find their way Back to Christmas.

If you read this book and would like to share your thoughts, please do so here in the comments.  AND if you you’d like to share your own ideas for getting back to Christmas, please share those as well.

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7 thoughts on “Back to Christmas

  1. I have not read Back to Christmas and to be honest, I probably will not read it in the future. But, the title of the book did give me food for thought. Most of my favorite Christmas decorations are still packed and have been since Christmas of 2002. Every year I procrastinate and swear next year I will unpack them. I do realize that there are more important issues than unpacking those decorations. Back to the REAL idea of Christmas should be a priority for all of us. So this year, I will concentrate on putting Christ back in Christmas and wish you all to do the same.

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    1. I certainly don’t decorate like I used to, but I do put out a few items to create a little extra spirit during the holidays. I find that a minimalist approach can actually be more meaningful than going all out. AND I don’t end up stressed to get it put up just in time to take it down. Thanks for your comment. I wish you a meaningful holiday season!

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  2. Ida Beth, ‘Black Friday’, ‘Small Business Saturday’, ‘Cyber Monday’ and all the other commercializations promotions are the reason I enjoy Thanksgiving. Add 24 hour Christmas music starting in November. All of it contributes to the greed and avarice that seems to be increasing in society. I just wish…oh, well. Anyway, it’s late and I have more packages to wrap to get mailed. Gee, I could have ordered in line and saved…see, the whole thing has sucked me in.

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    1. I know that’s the truth! It is very difficult to fight the hoopla that has become our cultural norm. It’s about finding the balance like reading a good book or enjoying home baked holiday treats in addition to all the shopping and other hype. Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season!

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