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  • Cynthia MacGregor

MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS GIFTS


Of course, books make for easy Christmas shopping. Just point and click on your

computer. No in-store hassles, struggles with unruly crowds, or fighting for a parking

space.


But that’s not the only reason—not even the most important reason—to buy books for

Christmas gifts. And especially AbyD books.


Books encourage reading, open new worlds for the reader, start a lifelong good

habit…and help wean kids from spending so much time in front of their video games.

But that’s not all AbyD books do.


We’ll cover books for adults in another post. Right now, let’s look at books for kids,

especially young ones.


If your child, niece/nephew, grandchild, or other young gift recipient is a member of a

minority group (and if s/he isn’t, we’ll talk about him/her in a minute), how many books

has s/he read that feature someone s/he can relate to on a deeply personal level? If

s/he is African American, do most—do ANY—of his/her books feature a young Black

child, as AbyD’s THERE’S A TIGER IN MY HOUSE, THE LOST BICYCLE, THE LAST

DROP OF SUNSHINE, or WHEN I GOT A SISTER do?


If s/he is Native American, do any of his/her books feature a Native American as AbyD’s

JUST INDIAN does?


If s/he is Latino, how many of his/her books feature Latinos as in AbyD’s ABUELITA’S

TREE or MOVING DAY FOR ALEX?


Now, what if your giftee is NOT a member of a minority group? Well, then…don’t you

think it would be helpful to introduce him/her to kids in print who are minority

members—especially if your gift recipient goes to a predominantly white school or pre-

school. If s/he doesn’t know many kids like those who populate so many of our books,

reading our books will help prepare him/her for the wider world out there and help make

people from different backgrounds seem not so strange, not so “other.”


Now…what if your giftee is a “special needs” child, regardless of his/her ethnicity?

Someone doesn’t have to be a special needs child, though, to appreciate the story of a

special needs reindeer who, despite her disability not only saves Christmas for a little

boy, a lost puppy, and even Santa himself, but helps make her own dearest wish come

true. And yes, we did say “HER” disability; the hero of HEARTFELT, THE SPECIAL

REINDEER is female. Anyone, special needs or not, can appreciate this story.


Is your giftee an adult or an older child? As we said earlier, we’l cover gifts for them in a

future post. Meanwhile, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or Chanukah, and

possibly Kwaanza…or even Festivus—Happy Holidays!


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