Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Review: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Summary: The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever. -- Harper Collins

I think THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER by Barbara Robinson is my all-time favorite Christmas book. If you've been following my blog, you know that over the past month I have read quite a few Christmas-themed books. While I enjoyed most of them very must, not a one comes close to evoking the feelings that I have each and every time I read THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER!

I started reading THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT when I was just a kid, and I absolutely adored it. I think I read it a few times each Christmas season until I considered myself too old! I remember the paperback version sitting out on our end table as a decoration of sorts. I fondly recall laughing a lot when reading this story, but I don't think I truly appreciated the real meaning of the book until I was an adult.

A few years ago, I was so excited that Booking Daughter was ready to read this book on her own. In fact, I was so "into" this story that I even bought the 2002 DVD version with Loretta Swit. She enjoyed the book a great deal although I admit that she wasn't quite as obsessed as I was (that could just be a personality thing.) I had never seen the movie version before purchasing it, but I highly recommend it in addition to the book! Every time I watch the DVD version, I end up bawling like a baby because this story truly captures the meaning of Christmas!

This year, I read a chapter each night to Booking Daughter and Booking Son before bedtime. I've decided that we will be instituting this family tradition each year from now on (even when they are "too old" for the story.) As we gathered in bed for the last chapter on December 23rd, I could barely finish the story because I began crying so much (so was Booking Daughter!)
I think that's what makes it the perfect family holiday read. It is a classic story for any age that really makes you see the original Christmas story in a new light.

I have personally recommended this book to everyone I know, and I now I'm recommending it to all of you! I just love this story, and to me, it symbolizes the spirit of Christmas like no other!

Note: The cover that I pictured above is the same as the one that I personally own -- it's not the most recent!

12 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I think it is precious that you institute these traditions, especially the ones that you had as a kid. I've never read this one, but I must say you have my curiosity piqued! I also like to show the book cover that I personally own...I did that for Shelf Discovery!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This sounds so good, and I've passed your recommendation along to a couple of moms with kids too young for The Paper Bag Christmas!

Heather J. said...

Kiddo and I listened to the audio of this while driving around earlier this month - I LOVE this story! Your new tradition sounds like a great one. :)

bermudaonion said...

I love this book too! We went to the play when Vance was in elementary school and it was so good. I didn't even know they'd made a movie version of it.

pinkflipflops said...

I LOVE that story. I saw it as Children's Theatre production in our town this year and it was fabulous! I remember my grandma reading it to me when I was little.

Sarah said...

I love this book! I still remember our school librarian reading it aloud to us in 1st grade (I suspect one couldn't do that now?). I thought it was hilarious, I loved hearing it read aloud, and I think it still holds up as a favorite Christmas story. In fact, watching my son's nursery school Christmas pageant made me think of it very much. Merry Christmas!

Anna said...

Glad to hear you like this one so much. I never heard of it until my daughter brought it home from her class Christmas party. We didn't get to it this year, but it's going into our pile of Christmas books to read next year.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Amused said...

I remember reading this book as a kid and loving it! How did I forget about this treasure?! Thanks for bringing the memory back!

Allie said...

I agree! I think it's my favorite holiday book too.

Laughing Stars aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

That is such a sweet story!

Jenners said...

It sounds fun ...and you're talking me into it!!

Bekah said...

That's such a great book! One of my childhood favorites - and I re-read it again this year! Also, way to go with starting a Christmas book tradition. My dad and I have read A Christmas Carol out loud every year for as long as I can remember. It's one of my favorite traditions.