Monday, December 15, 2008

My All-Time Favorite Christmas Story

Every year when Christmas comes around I always think of my favorite Christmas story, The H Street Sledding Record by Ron Carlson, available in his short story collections News of the World and A Kind of Flying.
I love it for a lot of reasons, but most of all because I grew up on H Street, the very H Street he is referring to in the story. It is in the Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City, and we lived almost at the very top of H, where the hills take on San Francisco-like proportions. I don't remember ever sledding right down the street, but living in such a hilly neighborhood did lend itself to some great days of sledding as a kid. I also love the world weariness of the story; the reaching out to try to grasp the magic of Christmas long after becoming an adult. I think I've come to love it even more in the past six years since becoming a parent, knowing how important it is to teach my children to be hopeful, and in return, how your hopeful my children have taught me to be. Especially this time of year, I am constantly reminded of the joy of having children.
I wish I could include the text of the story on my blog, but I am sure I would be breaking a number of copyright laws in the process, so I will leave it to you to seek it out. I am sure you could pick up a copy of it at any library, and I even heard that Ron Carlson has done a reading of it before on NPR, but I don't know if they replay it. If you're really desperate for the story, let me know and I will see if I can dig out a copy of the book for you. Anything to keep the magic of Christmas alive.


Jane Lory said...

Awesome post friend.. Great work.

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