This holiday (and hopefully years to follow, too) I've decided to partake in a new tradition: The 25 Books of Christmas.
I didn't make it up. I read about it in a book called The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays & Everydays(which I highly recommend), and since then have actually seen the idea floating around on some other blogs as well. Here's the tradition in a nutshell:
1). Select 25 holiday (or Christmas) themed books
2). Wrap them
3). Beginning on Dec. 1st, give one book to your child every day until Christmas
4). After Christmas, you put the books away until year
We have a bunch of holiday-themed books already. But, not 25. And when I told my husband that I wanted to start this tradition, he gave me a "what? we're buying 25 more books?" look. Well, he might have actually said that. We're not BUYING 25 books, I explained. Merely wrapping some we already have, and wrapping some library books as well. (Although I couldn't promise that I wouldn't purchase one or two new books here or there - I mean, how can I pass up some of those deals in TJ Maxx?)
I also decided that I wanted to make the tradition not only educational, but fun as well.
So we have some classics:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The Night Before Christmas
I've also thrown in some coloring books (they are fun AND cheap), some religious books like:
My Very First Christmas
Some character books like:
Merry Christmas, Splat (Splat the Cat)
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
We even have a First Look and Find: Merry Christmas!book.
I'm very excited to see how it turns out! And I'm excited to see what books we can find at the library. I will be presenting baby bookworm with The Night Before Christmas Recordable Story (Hallmark)that I recorded the day before I delivered her (her birthday is in December). I think that's kinda cool, and I'm hoping she'll appreciate it one day! I gave it to her on her very first Christmas Eve. We have a video of her "reading" it at 3 weeks old with her aunt and daddy (only they didn't realize it was my voice on the recording until about 1/2 way through the book, which makes me chuckle).
I plan on keeping the books we own "special" by packing them away until the next holiday season. I am also going to buy a journal so we can keep track of what books we read each year, and on what days. I'm not sure how I feel about the "wrapping" part of this tradition, as I just wrapped a bunch of birthday presents last night for baby bookworm, and might have had my fill. I'm thinking a "special" holiday bag reused 25 days in a row, might work just as well!
Whether you celebrate Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or nothing at all - I do hope this post inspires you to begin a special tradition of your own! It is through these traditions, both formal and informal, that children gain an important sense of self and identity.