I grew up watching The Waltons on television — me and every other person in the United States from 1972 – 1981. Possibly you’ve watched the re-runs. The show was based on the book Spencer’s Mountain by Earl Hamner, Jr. published in 1961. It’s a fictional version of his life growing up in a loving and lively family in rural Virginia during the Great Depression.
In 1971, Mr. Hamner wrote a second book about Spencer’s Mountain called The Homecoming. This 125 page novel is set at Christmastime. Father has left home to find work elsewhere during the Depression, but promises to be home for Christmas. Christmas Eve day passes slowly while the family prepares the house for the family celebrations but worries at father’s unexplained delay. The sometimes gut-wrenching and sometimes hilarious events of this special Christmas Eve from 1933 will warm your heart. It’s a bit pricey online, and tricky to find at a used book store, but if you’re fortunate enough to have a well-established library, they may have a copy in their stacks!
The made-for-TV movie, The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, was a holiday staple back in the 1970’s and is still available on DVD.
High School Reading Level, 125 pages, Holidays, Published in 1971.