The rare Christmas books of Tasha Tudor

by Liz on December 7, 2011 · Art of the book, Children's rare books

Snow Before Christmas    As the yuletide season approaches, it is only natural that among merry thoughts of snowfalls, wrapped gifts and fires flickering on the hearth, the rare books of the festive author and illustrator Tasha Tudor should come to mind. Tasha Tudor took great delight in the Christmas season, and put much creativity into lovely rare Christmas stories, heartwarming Christmas cards, intricate Advent calendars, and extraordinary handmade gifts for those she held dear.

Among Tasha Tudor’s touching and splendidly illustrated rare Christmas books, are Take Joy! Becky’s Christmas, The Doll’s Christmas, Snow Before Christmas, Corgiville Christmas, and many illustrated versions of The Night Before Christmas. As her sweet illustrations prove, amid the inevitable hustle and rush of each year’s preparations, it is soothing, therapeutic, and relaxing to take one or two of her books off the shelf and allow oneself to be enveloped by the wholesome content and angelic illustrated figures of children, snow and corgis of a quieter and simpler time.

 Take Joy! is, in a sense, everything wonderful and joyous pertaining to Christmas, just waiting to be released with the book’s opening. Tasha Tudor has filled it with richly decorated copies of well-loved Christmas poems, carols, and recipes, and stories which she herself has written. Nestled among the famous Christmas tales in Take Joy! are an extremely authentic illustrated version of the heart rending tale The Gift of The Magi, including a generous depiction of the heroine, Della’s long and beauteous tresses, and the anguish and pain which is felt by she and her husband, Jim. Various sketches of the Nativity scene, paintings of classic nineteenth century Yuletide traditions, and well cherished receipts for Christmas sugar cookies, gingerbread castles, and succulent roasted turkey to spread atop a Yuletide table all find their way in Take Joy! to delight and inspire the beholder of Tasha’Tudor’s magic.

Becky’s Christmas endearingly portrays the euphoric anticipation and enchantment of Christmas traditions through the eyes of a ten year old girl named Becky. Through Ms. Tudor’s lively and heartwarming illustrations, the reader is taken on quite an enjoyable tour of Becky’s home and family life as they gleefully take part in such Christmas preparations as baking cookies and cakes, hand making gifts for family, singing carols with friends while surrounded around a melodious piano, bedecking and illuminating a freshly cut tree, and frolicking in the fresh and newly fallen snow. Truly, Becky’s Christmas emits all that is of joy and whimsy to a child during the Yuletide season, and it gently reminds the careworn and stressed individual that it is quite acceptable to step back and slow down amid the season’s habitual rush and frenzy.

Anyone fortunate enough to have had the pleasure of gazing at one of Tasha Tudor’s incredible Advent Calendars or Christmas cards knows and understands full well that she has successfully encapsulated and depicted what is truly of worth and value among the Yuletide season. Rather than exhibiting the flashy and materialistic attitude that is so common this time of year, Tasha Tudor instead portrays family love, childhood joy, and due reverence for all that the Yuletide season truly represents.

As evidenced through the preceding paragraphs, with her sweet stories, calendars, and cards, Tasha Tudor easily and lovingly creates all that is joyful, peaceful and lovely to the weary and overburdened individual during the chaotic Yuletide time. By drinking in the blissful and inviting world which Ms. Tudor so easily creates, all that is of true meaning and worth will shine brazenly through the stress and turmoil that the Yuletide season naturally brings. Therefore, why not pause to grab a steaming mug of cocoa and a rare illustrated Christmas treasure from the heart and hands of perhaps the merriest Yuletide observer of them all? You will certainly take joy!

About the author

Partner, rare book dealer. Sekkes Consultants.

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