Snuggle Up to Reading Over Christmas,

Did you know there are 36 days until Christmas? Now check your pulse. Did that realization make your heart race, fill you with panic or did it bring a smile to your face with anticipation? We all face the lead up to Christmas with a different attitude. And sometimes different years bring added stress or busyness to the season. Our children also experience the varying emotions brought on by the holidays and they can definitely sense how we react as well.

When my daughters were younger, they loved bringing in the special bin filled with treasured Christmas picture books that we would read and reread every year. We also added to our pile each year and they anticipated new Christmas stories. This was a tradition to them, something that brought them comfort and joy. It was also routine. Establishing a routine during a season that brings many activities that are out of routine will give stability to a child who has anxiety over the many unexpected or new experiences.

So what are some creative ways to establish a reading routine through Christmas?

For younger children create an Advent Calendar of books:

1. Go to the library or used book store without your child. Pick out some new to them stories. They could be Christmas related or on a theme that is completely separate from Christmas. Choose some different genres. Don’t forget to include non-fiction books as well.

2. Look for book sales online or local authors selling books at Christmas events.

3. Create an element of excitement about these books for your child. You could wrap each book up individually and choose one package a day to open. Or if you want to limit the wrapping paper waste, you could write each title down on a separate piece of paper and have it in a Christmas decorated bag where your child could choose one title a day. Make sure to have the bin of books hidden so the books are kept secret until they are chosen to read.

4. Snuggle up as a family with pillows, blankets, favourite stuffed animal friends and maybe even a Christmas cookie as you share the new story.

5. Don’t forget to introduce your child to the author or illustrator of the book by maybe telling a little fact about them such as where they live, other books written or illustrated etc. A quick Google search about the author/illustrator before reading will give you and your child a connection to the story and the person who wrote or illustrated it.

For older children:

Choose a family novel that you all can sit around listening to a chapter or two each evening. It could even be an audio book. You can turn off the lights, have the fireplace going and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate as you journey along with the characters on adventure.

This year my teen daughters and I will be reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. After we finish reading it, I’m looking forward to having a pj movie night with them and watch the 1949 movie.

So as the Countdown to Christmas creeps closer, find your family a reading tradition around the holidays that brings anticipation, comfort and special memories.

What are some special Christmas books that you loved as a child? Share with me in the comments down below!

May your holidays be filled with books and stories to share.

Nikki

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