Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Boy with Drums

Ahhh, Christmas! One reason why I love this season is because we get to do special things we otherwise wouldn't do the rest of the year. Like reading Christmas books! Every night when December comes, I try to read one to the kids before bedtime. In the past, my daughter and I tremendously enjoyed The Night Before Christmas, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Gift of the Magi, The Nutcracker and even Merry Christmas, Strega Nona.

Last year, when my little boy was barely two, I hesitated on doing Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. He was showing some interest in books, which was obvious from the chewed up corners of Tomie de Paola's My First Christmas. But Robert Frost? He probably would have stopped me before we got to the woods! I had to find something more appropriate quickly and I did ---The Little Drummer Boy!

It's a song actually.* I often listened to the version by Bing Crosby as my dad played it on the stereo over and over during Christmastime. So imagine my excitement when I found this little board book, wonderfully illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats. It was a perfect addition to our collection of Christmas stories! Reading it, I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover how simple, yet profound it was. If you take out parum pum pum pum, the lines go...

Come, they told me,
Our newborn King to see,
Our finest gifts we bring
to lay before the King
so to honor Him
when we come.

Baby Jesus
I am a poor boy, too
I have no gift to bring
that's fit to give a King
Shall I play for You
on my drum?

Mary nodded
The ox and lamb kept time
I played my drum for Him
I played my best for Him
Then He smiled at me...
me and my drum.

Last year, the kids sang along accompanied by quiet tapping on their laps. This year, they kept asking me to read again, so that the tapping can progress to marching with eyes closed, then to banging on the walls!

Not a very good idea for a story before bedtime, but hey, I'd like to think it gets the message across. The Son of God came as a poor little baby and did not need fancy gifts. Just a simple song and drum number played from the heart. T-rum, t-rum, t-rum tum tum...

*Words and Music by Katherine Davis, Henri Onorati, and Harry Simeone

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your posts because I think you are an incredibly detailed and organized person! Am I right? I, however, am all over the board.
    My parents are back from the Philippines and we are all freezing here in the Midwest! But I love the snow and the Christmas lights and the message of hope that comes with this time of year...may God bless you and your family Mug Mommy! :)