Well, whether you like it or not, it’s Christmas time. Some of us love Christmas! And that’s great! But for others, Christmas can be difficult. Maybe you had a hard year, and it’s challenging to get into the spirit of things. Maybe you lost a loved one or can’t be with the ones you love. Maybe you don’t celebrate this holiday, and you are so tired of hearing about it every waking moment of the day. In any event, I feel you, and so does Little Elliot. He just wasn’t into it this year either.
Our holiday schedules are often packed with Christmas plays and movies, sitting on Santa’s lap, tree lighting ceremonies, sledding and playing in the snow (if you live somewhere like that), ice skating, eating a ton of baked goods while drinking hot cocoa, shopping, shopping, shopping, and more shopping. THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS…right? All that can be fun, but the joy we garner from these things is fleeting. We can still walk away feeling like we’re missing something important.
Now, I know there have been ten thousand books instructing us about “the true meaning of Christmas,” and I suppose this book could be lumped in with them, but let’s set Christmas aside for a second. I think many of us are looking for real meaning in our lives the whole year round. And sometimes, we just don’t know what it all means. We make lots of decisions based on what we hope will make us happy. In America, often those decisions are material based. Again, I know I haven’t come to some sensationally unique perspective when I say that life is about the connections we make. We are all out there looking for each other, searching for love, friendship, camaraderie, mentorship, family. And when we go through the motions of what we’re “supposed to do” and don’t find what we’re looking for, it can leave us feeling disconnected. And during the holidays, the stakes seem even higher because it’s “supposed” to be a time of great joy.
But though this world can be big and disappointing and scary, there are real miracles happening everyday. People do find each other despite their tough situations. I wrote this book because life has shown the cynic in me that despite all the loss we can experience, there’s so much healing that a kind gesture can accomplish. Sometimes the thing that we are missing is a person we don’t even know. They’re a stranger who lives far away in a different world, a different life, than your own. And somehow the universe conspires to unite you through one chance moment, and it could spark a whole new reality.
In this book, Little Elliot experiences his own little miracle (which just happens to be on Christmas). Somehow, he finds the person he needs, who also needs him. And who do we thank for that? Santa? Their individual determination not to give up hope? The wind? I don’t know, but I’m so grateful when it all works out.
OK, I’ll stop with all the mush! I know everyone loves a good Easter egg (no matter the holiday), so here are a few you’ll find in Merry Christmas, Little Elliot:
In this little crowd, you’ll find my nephew, nieces, and puppy!
Yes, that is Macy’s in the background. I’m not trying to promote them per se, but they are pretty iconic when it comes to Christmas in New York. Also, it’s just an awesome doorway. What can I say, I wanted to draw the cool lamps.
“Who is Freya?” Freya is my adorable niece, so she gets things named after her. The same train is featured on the opening spread in the toy filled window (if you squint you can see her name).
Also, what is perhaps my favorite part of the book is hidden! Take a peek under the dust jacket for a little surprise. It will add a little more meaning to the story as well.
Macmillan made a limited run of these sweet Little Elliot Christmas ornaments which they distributed to select indie bookstores nationwide for them to give away free with purchase of Merry Christmas, Little Elliot (while supplies last). Check with your indie to see if they have any left!
If you would like a signed copy of Merry Christmas, Little Elliot (or how about the whole series!), you can place an order with the Eric Carle Museum Shop. I will stop by to personalize and sign them, and the Carle will happily ship to (almost) anywhere in the world! Conveniently, they’re having their Holiday Sale today, 11/23 through Sunday 11/25 (use coupon code HOLIDAY to get 15% off or 30% off for members). I will also be at Books of Wonder in NYC on December 1st at 1PM, if you would like your books signed in person.
And one more thing: Macmillan is having a Merry Christmas, Little Elliot sweepstakes from from 11/19-12/10. Enter here to win your very own Little Elliot collection!
That’s all for now, friends. No matter what you do or don’t celebrate, I hope that you’re enjoying life’s small miracles today and every day.
Click here to read reviews for Merry Christmas, Little Elliot!