Blessings and Books
In the chaotic days of life, I often forget about the little blessings, and how we touch the lives of others. I was recently reminded by a beloved niece of a favorite tradition of mine at Halloween. Instead of buying my nieces, nephew, and my two girls lots of candy, I would always buy them a book. The theme of the books related in some way to Halloween or was a suspenseful tale. She sent me a text about it and included a picture of Halloween books on display. She said, “Reminds me of you always getting us books for Halloween. I hope to do it some day for my nieces!!! Love you!!” I replied, “Aww. You made me cry. Thanks for remembering. I love you too!!!” She said, “How could I forget? They were the only books I ever read!” A smiley emoji followed this text.
That made me smile. Getting a book into the hands of a child has been one of my favorite pasttimes over the years. As a child, I couldn’t wait to crack open a new book (and smell the pages, of course) and read under my covers with a flashlight when I should have been sleeping.
Enter the Berenstain Bears
When I was 6, my favorite Christmas present was a book called The Bears’ Christmas by Stan and Jan Berenstain. The antics of Papa Bear and Mama’s knowing looks that Papa was going to mess something up entertained me for years. So, when I became a mom, I started buying everything the Berenstains wrote. They first published 55 years ago, so over the years I had plenty of books to choose. I love their books, not only for their entertainment value, but for the wholesome lessons and values they teach children. The couple and their son, Mike, even wrote a faith-based series called Berenstain Bears Living Lights series that include titles like The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers and The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You.
Two of my girls’ favorite books that I always read in the month of October include Bears in the Night and The Spooky Old Tree (especially this one). Other books they enjoyed are The Bear Detectives, The Berenstain Bears Go on a Ghost Walk, and The Berenstain Bears Get the Scaredies.
Although these Halloween stories provided more entertainment than lessons, they gave me cherished family time with the girls. I will fondly remember their little hands gripping the side of the Spooky Old Tree book as their little voices yelled, “Yes, they dare!” And, how the girls were happy to get to the last page when the bears were safely home with Mama.
I am so glad my niece reminded me of the blessings of books, family time, and the Berenstain Bears.