I’ve connected with Deana Metzke over twitter. I always appreciate her focus and intent to #raise readers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter. Deana has guest blogged here before; be sure to check it out!
Previous Days of 12 Days of Guest Bloggers:
Making new Christmas traditions with books
For a variety of reasons, including age difference and different interests, bedtime reads at our house are done individually. The only times we read as a group of 3 are when one parent is not available at bedtime, when we read a chapter book together, or this magical time of year!
When I was child, one of the things I enjoyed about the Christmas season was the holiday-themed books that my mom would bring out when she brought out the decorations, including these books that she regifted to me a couple years ago.
And one tradition we had growing up was that on Christmas Eve, she would read the true story of Christmas to my brother and I before bed. Naturally, I wanted to create some sort of tradition with my own children, and I think I have found one that fits us, at least for now.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a book titled, Disney Christmas Storybook Collection. It combines my children’s two loves, Christmas and anything Disney. There are holiday themed stories from all sorts of Disney characters, including characters from my era, like The Lady and the Tramp and more recent characters, like Anna and Elsa from Frozen. I mean, there’s almost 20 stories in this book!
Now, as excited as we all were about this purchase, it actually took me a couple years to get into a good rhythm with it. Here’s how it went down:
Year 1: I busted out the book, the kids were super excited, but I didn’t get the book until later in December, so we didn’t get to enjoy all the stories, because like many kids their age, they are over Christmas once the 25th has passed. There was also conflict about who got to sit on my lap during the stories. And, their occasionally OCD mother was convinced we needed to go in story order from cover to cover, so they were a little frustrated with me—how’s that for some Christmas spirit?
Year 2: Still started it a little late, so we still didn’t get through it all. However, after a couple of days, I did have an epiphany and decided we didn’t have to read the stories in order (especially since at this rate, we would never get to read about WALL-e’s Christmas at the end of the book). Dad got in on the act this year, so if they weren’t super long (some stories are longer than others) they could read one story with me and read another with him. Kids still love the stories and I am loving our new tradition.
Year 3 (this year): Ok, so this year I’m planning on busting out the book on time, December 5th at the absolutely latest. I mean, between my husband and I, we should be able to get through it all, right? My plan this year also includes letting the kids take turns selecting which story we read and also alternating which bedroom we read in each night. Gotta be all about equality with these two.
Now I’m not suggesting that everyone go out and purchase this book, but I am suggesting that for those of you who are #raisingreaders, this time of year is the perfect time to create a tradition that includes books of some sort. With them being 5 and 7 years old, I know I may only have a couple more years before they are over this Disney-themed book, so I am going to relish every moment I have until I have to come up with a new tradition.