In this day and age of racial divides and prejudices that still linger long after wars and movements, The Color of Water by James McBride is a refreshing read. I say that because this is a book that a black man, who came of age during the turbulent 60’s, wrote as a tribute to his white mother. Yes, I said white mother. This may not seem unusual to us today, we see interracial relationships around us all the time. But not only was James McBride’s mother white, she was Jewish; her father was a Jewish Rabbi, strictly following Jewish customs and forbidding her to socialize with people of color. (I am still not sure whether this was a Jewish “rule” or just his own racist decision). This book describes a journey of discovery and hope, and of learning to accept who you are no matter what your background.
Though it could be mistaken for the magical location of Santa’s workshop, this place is actually Crystal Mountain Resort in northern Michigan. For approximately the last 25 years, my extended family, who is spread out all over Michigan, has been making memories here as we have gathered for family getaways, summer “Moms and Kids” week, and, every other year: Crazy Chaotic Thanksgiving Happiness. For four days we eat, laugh, play cards, drink adult beverages, eat some more, watch football, play ping-pong (a bi-annual tournament of which, ahem, I currently am reigning champion), take walks around the magical little village that is Crystal Mountain, talk politics AND religion, swim in the indoor pool, take a surrey ride and sing Christmas carols, snuggle the little ones, laugh with the teens, and love on Grandma. We are here this year, and our bellies – and hearts – are full! I pray yours are as well.
We have so much for which to give thanks to God, not the least being that we are alive to take another breath.
So, while I will NOT be Black-Friday shopping tomorrow, but most likely snuggled up inside with a hot beverage and a small nephew (who will most likely be beating me at a card game), I thought I would help you get into the Christmas spirit by sharing three of my favorite Christmas books.