Buck, Pearl S. (1955). Christmas Day in the Morning. New York: Harpercollins.
Pearl S. Buck, best known for her 1932 Pulitzer prizewinning novel The Good Earth, is the author of more than one hundred stories for both children and adults. Many homeschoolers are familiar with her title The Big Wave, which tells the story of a tsunami in a poignant children’s novella. In 2002 Harpercollins decided to release Pearl Buck’s short story Christmas Day in the Morning as a picture book with original illustrations by Mark Buehner. Since we discovered it several years ago it has been as much a tradition for our family to read this story, as to hang stockings and decorate cookies. I’m sharing it today in hopes that you can find a copy through your library or bookseller in time for this year’s celebration of Christ’s birth.
Fifteen year old Rob wants to show his dad how much he loves him, but how can he, as poor as they are? But an idea comes to him…
Then Jesus had been born in a barn, and to a barn the shepherds and the Wise Men had come, bringing their Christmas gifts! The thought stuck him like a silver dagger: Why should he not give his father a special gift, too, out there in the barn? (Buck, p.16 )
Rob decides to get up even earlier than four a.m. to get the milking chores done as a gift for his dad… and then he climbs back into bed so that his father gets a surprise when he heads to the barn ahead of him, (or so he thinks!). Rob’s act of service gives his dad an opportunity to see the younger children’s reaction to the tree Christmas morning for the very first time. It also gives Rob and his dad a reminder of their love for years to come.
Be blessed and enjoy this family read aloud this holiday season!