Podcast Episode 184: This Christmas: Delight in the Dumb Stuff

    Dec 18, 2023

    You may be familiar with the ever-popular children’s books about the Berenstain Bears, having read them as a child, or to a child or grandchild at one time.

    For the uninitiated, the Bear family lives down a sunny dirt road deep in Bear country. Mama Bear is the commonsense parent, and Papa is rather a doofus of a dad. And lots of people have had plenty to say about that. 

    But not long ago I read a Berenstain Bears book that not only made me see Papa Bear a little differently, he and Mama Bear gave me a perspective on Christmas (yes, Christmas) that painted a vivid picture of joy no matter what.

    In this episode, you’ll find out what that book is all about, and how we might all have a little Papa Bear in us as we dream about what Christmas ought to be—full of joy and sentimental good times, amazing pumpkin and peppermint foods we don’t eat the rest of the year, lovefests of gathering friends and relatives, life-changing gifts—you know what I’m talkin’ about.

    But we’ll also learn about Mama Bear’s gift for celebrating the dumb stuff when the times of our lives end up looking less like a Hallmark movie and more like a blooper reel. 

    I guarantee you’ll want to follow her example this year!


    Awkward Family Photos—Christmas. https://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/category/photos/christmas-2/

    Berenstain, Stan and Jan. The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation. Random House Books for Young Readers, 1989.

    Dagatz, Jan. 52 Simple Ways to Make Christmas Special. Oliver Nelson Publishers, 1991.

    Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart Season 2 Blooper Reels https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/when-calls-the-heart/videos/highlights-season-2-blooper-reel-when-calls-the-heart

    Petersen, Sara. “Mama Bear Knows Best: The Enduring Problem with Children’s Picture Books.” Washington Post, October 22, 2018.

    Perspective | Mama Bear knows best: The enduring problem with children’s picture books

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