One of the most commonly used words during Christmas holidays is wonder. In particular, children are the ones who experience wonder most fully. It helps that Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men bring many gifts, but now that I have this opportunity to say what I have always felt, I have always loved Christmas for different reasons, because the best gifts are those that come unwrapped.
I remember the family meals, all of us together. I can still smell my grandmother’s soup on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I adored the fish, breaded with love, and I admire every family member’s efforts for all of us to happily share: just share a meal, and one another’s company. For me, that was the source of wonder, much more than any present, and I’ve felt that way since I was very little. But I never took for granted the presents that did appear in our home, because that wonder, too, was shared with those who brought them. I’m a Christmas freak: I consume all American Christmassy films, I’d drink hot chocolate every day if I could and I fill the house with lights. It’s always been a joyful time for me.
I also prefer giving gifts to receiving them. I’d be an excellent Santa Claus or Wise Woman. And if I could choose, I know my sack of gifts would always be filled with books, because books help us live. For that reason, I want to ask Sant Claus and our Wise Men to remember this precious gift, that of good stories— especially when it comes to the little ones, who will never want to leave that wonderful world once they have entered it. It’s one of the best addictions. Without further ado, here is a list of the books that are still on the market and which I consider ideal as a gift for the smallest members of the household.
This year, we have recommended a few illustrated books, such as SOFIA AND THE WILD WORD (SOFÍA Y LA PALABRA SALVAJE) by Puri Hernández, IN YOUR SHOES (EN TUS ZAPATOS) by Meritxell García, THE COUNTRY OF BIRDS WITH NO WINGS (EL PAÍS DELS OCELLS SENSE ALES) by Nadia Ghulam, THE LAND OF CLOUDS (LA TERRA DELS NUVOLS) by María Barbal, or THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BOOKS (EL MARAVILLOSO MUNDO DE LOS LIBROS) by Ana Alcolea. We have also recommended books to read as a family, like STORIES FOR BEING BRAVE (CUENTOS PARA TENER VALOR) by Àlex Rovira and Francesc Miralles or 101 EXCITING STORIES (101 CUENTOS EMOCIONANTES) by Gabriel García de Oro. We also have books for those who already choose their own reading, such as THE MARBLES GANG (LA PANDILLA CANICA) by Sacha Azcona, ASTROLOVE by Esther Sanz, RAQUEL PRIS by Gabriel García del Oro and THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT THE ABOMINABLE BOTTOM-POKER (TOTA LA VERITAT SOBRE L’ABOMINABLE PUNXACULS) by Joan Pau Hernández.
I encourage you to visit bookstores these days: they are places full of magic. Remember that a book is one of the best presents one can give, and that they last a lifetime. Who doesn’t remember the stories they were read as a child, that one book we would make our mother or father read night after night? Let’s not lose this habit: in encouraging young ones to read, we’ll find a small hope that the world can be a better place.