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A Simple Christmas

Cover of A Simple Christmas

A Simple Christmas

Twelve Stories that Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit
The New York Times bestseller by the former governor and presidential candidate-an instant classic, reissued for 2010.
Christmas has become synonymous with shopping, overindulging, and stress. But according to Mike Huckabee, that was never God's intention. Going back to the Nativity, Christmas is supposed to be about simple things: faith, love, family, and hope. The hard part, in today's crazy world, is remembering that those simple things are the most precious.
Huckabee recounts twelve Christmas memories that range from his childhood in Arkansas to his years as a young husband and father to his time as a governor and then a presidential candidate. These true stories will help you smile, take a deep breath, and maybe slow down your own holiday treadmill.
For instance, as kids, Mike and his sister would sneak open their gifts before Christmas, play with them, then rewrap them so their parents wouldn't notice. The plan worked great until one Christmas when young Mike unwrapped a brand-new football...that was covered in mud. That led to a powerful lesson about patience and a reminder that the best Christmases are the simple ones.
The New York Times bestseller by the former governor and presidential candidate-an instant classic, reissued for 2010.
Christmas has become synonymous with shopping, overindulging, and stress. But according to Mike Huckabee, that was never God's intention. Going back to the Nativity, Christmas is supposed to be about simple things: faith, love, family, and hope. The hard part, in today's crazy world, is remembering that those simple things are the most precious.
Huckabee recounts twelve Christmas memories that range from his childhood in Arkansas to his years as a young husband and father to his time as a governor and then a presidential candidate. These true stories will help you smile, take a deep breath, and maybe slow down your own holiday treadmill.
For instance, as kids, Mike and his sister would sneak open their gifts before Christmas, play with them, then rewrap them so their parents wouldn't notice. The plan worked great until one Christmas when young Mike unwrapped a brand-new football...that was covered in mud. That led to a powerful lesson about patience and a reminder that the best Christmases are the simple ones.
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  • From the cover 2. Sacrifice

    On February 9, 1964, I was one of seventy-three million Americans watching The Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles made their first appearance in the United States. My family usually watched Ed Sullivan anyway, but that night was something special.

    Like many kids who saw this quartet of long-haired Brits with electric guitars and drums, I realized their music was something very different, and I immediately knew that I wanted a guitar so I could become one of the Beatles. So what if I was only eight years old at the time and had never played a guitar in my life? I wasn't concerned with minor details like that, and playing a guitar real loud and having girls scream for me seemed like a great goal in life. I was hooked.

    The kids in my neighborhood were just as stricken as I was, and we started gathering Coke bottles that we found discarded on the side of the road and turning them in for their two-cent deposit value. Eventually we earned enough to buy the 45 rpm record of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," with "I Saw Her Standing There" on the B side of the record. It was the first record I ever bought. Before that, I only had little 78 rpm recordings of children's stories with songs, like "The Poky Little Puppy" and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Coke bottles (in the South, we call all soda Coke even if it's actually a different brand) were the great equalizer of economic disparity among kids where I came from. Some kids automatically got money from their parents as an allowance, which seemed pretty terrific, but the rest of us could take our little red wagons (everyone had one) and pull them around town and pick up enough empty bottles to get some easy money, even if it did require some serious scavenging around tall weeds and ditches.

    The little record player I had was better suited for "Poky Little Puppy" records, but it would play a 45, although I had to turn the volume all the way up to get anywhere near the "rock and roll" level I wanted. The little two-inch speaker distorted horribly when pushed up to ten on the dial, but I didn't care. The louder the better. Unfortunately, the louder-the-better mind-set stayed with me after I advanced to larger speakers backed up by an amplifier that emitted 120 decibels—enough to take paint off the wall! Yes, I know that I shouldn't have played music that loudly, and yes, it has affected my hearing somewhat, and yes, I regret it. I have already had the lectures from my parents when I was a kid and from doctors as an adult, so please spare me another one!

    Playing the 45s and later the LP albums of the Beatles was great, but that really wasn't enough to fulfill my passion for rock and roll. That summer, several kids in the neighborhood decided we would produce a Beatles show for our parents and all the neighbors. Of course, we didn't have real instruments and none of us knew how to play, but those were minor details. We would make our own instruments and pantomime the songs played by the record player.

    Every kid in the neighborhood had a job. My sister Pat ran the record player. Amelia Leverett from down the street sold tickets and Cokes. The "Beatles" consisted of Tom Frazier as George Harrison (he would later give up being a Beatle to become a prominent hand surgeon); Carol Frazier (Tom's sister, who is now married and works as a community-affairs specialist at a pediatric hospital) as Ringo; Betty Rodden (who, last I heard, was a basketball coach) as John Lennon; and me as Paul McCartney, the bass player (I'm still one today). Bob "Bo" Frazier, the little brother of Tom and Carol (now a CPA), was the opening act and entertained the audience by wearing a bedsheet and singing a song...

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A Simple Christmas
A Simple Christmas
Twelve Stories that Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit
Mike Huckabee
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