There is one book that I can say without hesitation that I prefer the movie, which isn't surprising since it was a movie before it was a book. A couple of years ago one of the books in the Kohl's Cares for Kids line up was A Charlie Brown Christmas. We got it as a gift. I love the show and we have watched it the past couple of years on Christmas Eve with friends. It is one of the few Christmas specials from my childhood (and before) that has withstood the test of time and that I want to share with Isaac. Rudolph, not so much.
But the Charlie Brown Christmas book is just unbearable to read. Which means that Isaac chose it about 3 out of 5 nights the past few weeks at bedtime. Linus' recitation of the Luke Christmas story just cannot be replicated in print. Neither can Schroder's music. And, as hard as I try, I just can't do "Hark the Herald Angels" sing like the Peanuts Gang can.
But if for some reason they stop showing that particular Christmas special each year, or when our VCR finally dies and we have no way to play our VHS version, we will have the book as a backup. Because, despite its early commercial ties to Coca Cola, A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the best illustrations of the Christmas spirit. One that I want Isaac to internalize as he grows up.
The book will soon be packed away with the other Christmas books and decorations. But I will let the VHS tape stay out in the general collection just in case Isaac wants to watch it later. Its message is relevant year round.