my aunt tilly from England

Aunt Tilly (she’s not really my aunt) was my first nanny. I loved her – and I know this because my mom told me I cooed and gooed with her and she called me “her perfect baby”. That has to count for a lot.  From what I know, she was tender and dear and always read to us. She went back to her native England when I was very little, but every year at Christmas, we would receive a wonderful book from her. My first memories of truly loving to read come from this sweet woman, whom I know so little about. Here she is pictured of her with my three cousins on the left side, my sister and brother on the right (I’m sure I was off dozing in my crib!)

aunt tilly 1

For about 63 years Aunt Tilly’s Christmas book has been on display in my home during the holidays. It is as bright and colorful today as the day we received it from England (albeit the pages have expectedly yellowed a bit over time). My kids grew up looking through this book. So I thought… why not replicate it for them. A few years ago, we did just that – and now each of my seven children has a copy of this book that they display with their Christmas collection!

fav christmas book 1This is the back cover.

fav christmas book 2

These pages are so retro… it’s now cool! But for me it just floods me with warm, fuzzy memories!

fav christmas book 4

fav christmas book 5

fav christmas book 9

And this is the inside hardbound back cover… I always imagined that this is what Santa and his reindeer look like!

fav christmas book 10

I have so many wonderful Christmas books.. .I’ve collected them through the years and  just don’t think any technical device (although I do love reading from my Kindle with its built-in back-light) will ever be a replacement for holding a cherished book in your hand!

A few of my friends have wonderful traditions involving children’s books. One of these, Queen Scarlett of Frankly My Dear, wraps 12 Christmas books and reads one a night for The Twelve Days of Christmas Books. Now that’s a wonderful tradition!

I love hearing from my readers… did this spark memories in your family? What are some of your Christmas, Hanukkuh or Kwanzaa book traditions? I’d love to hear.

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