Everyone has their holiday favorites. Whether it's a story you read every year, a song, or a maybe a TV special, good old favorites are a standard at our house during the holidays.
And one of my old favorites is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.
It's a short book and the plot isn't very complicated, but it's one of my favorite things to reread during this time of year. The book tells the story of your average Christmas pageant, but there's one thing about this particular pageant that makes it very special. This year the Herdman family have decided to participate. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but the Herdmans are "non church" people and are generally the ragamuffin terrors of the town. But they bully their way into the play and then into the lead roles, determined to find out what the big deal about this pageant thing is anyway. The results are full of hilarious moments, but in the end is quite a heartwarming story about the true meaning of Christmas (aren't all good Christmas stories?).
It'd been a few years since I'd read it, and last year my brother happened to pull it off the shelf (he'd never read it before). He thought it looked like a stupid book, and the rest of my family proceeded to tell him otherwise. When he still looked skeptical, our family sat down and proceeded to read it aloud. We turned on one of those fireplace DVDs and each took turns reading a chapter. We got about halfway through before we crashed. The next night was Christmas Eve, so we spent time finishing reading the book aloud right before going to bed for the night. It's one of my fondest Christmas memories, all of us gathered around reading from this little book.