When you think of the holiday season, a lot of warm and cozy things come to mind – crackling fireplaces, beautifully lit evergreen trees, and everything knit (ugly sweaters included). Of course, this season also brings out a lot of much less cozy things – packed schedules, crowded stores, long lines, and expensive gifts. If you’re not careful, these are the things that can quickly take over your holidays, leaving you and your family feeling stressed and exhausted.
Before you let another holiday season slip away, consider slowing down and creating a new tradition, one that doesn’t require credit cards or heading out after dinner to brave busy crowds and never-ending lines.
This season, share a book.
Yes, it may sound simple, but through the magic of books you can open doors to incredible worlds and places that won’t soon be forgotten. While trendy toys will get tossed to the wayside in a matter of months (sometimes even days), the memory of you taking the time to read a story to a child in your family or community is something that they will carry with them from season to season.
In a world where adults and children alike are constantly glued to a screen and dividing their attention between several things at once, the act of reading a book brings serenity and simplicity to everyday life. When you sit down with your little one and open a book, it is a reminder to them that you will always have time to spend and care to show.
Below are a few ways to set up a special book night with your family to get you started. But remember: regardless of how you do it or what it looks like, reading a book to your child is one of the best ways to infuse magic into this special holiday season.
1. Cozy Up. Make a fire and get everyone in their pajamas. Before bed or first thing in the morning, gather your family under a blanket and share one of your favorite books from your childhood. Bonus points for individual character voices!
2. Make a Book Fort. Allow your story time to be extra fun by first creating a special fort or tent for books to be read in. Stack pillows and drape sheets to build your family’s very own book nook.
3. Get Creative with Lighting. Turn off the main lights in your home and bring out something special: flashlights, electric candles, lanterns, etc. Allow your children to be in charge of illuminating the pages and illustrations as you read.
Want to make a day of it? Head out on an excursion to the local library or bookstore to search for a new family favorite. You can even step it up a notch and invite friends and neighbors to take part in the fun by hosting a book reading complete with snacks, drinks, and bookish goodies.
Ready to rediscover the true meaning of the holidays? Take a breath, settle down, and share a book with the ones you love.