Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Month of Gifts from your Bookshelves

We’ve already established that kids love to open presents (hey, so do I), so what better way to jump-start a new, leaned-down gift-buying season than give the kids MORE gifts to open…and to open now, before Christmas!

Sneak into your kids’ rooms and take off the shelves any book remotely related to the Holidays- think outside the box, as anything with “snow” or “winter” will work, too. Surprised at how many you have? Hopefully you have enough to read one a day all the way until Christmas morning. If not, you may want to hit the library and check a few out.

Now, wrap each book as if it’s a gift (maybe make a discreet mark to identify the library books in case you need to renew them mid-season!) and place them in a basket by your couch. (Green tip: I wrap with newspaper then draw a stick-figure Christmas tree on them). Every night, allow your kids to pick one “gift” to unwrap, and read the book together.

I have done this with my children for a few years now, and it is possibly our favorite holiday tradition. We start December 1st, and read the last one Christmas morning. All year, I look out for holiday-themed books at garage sales, thrift stores, and library rummage sales, so am able to sneak in a few new ones amongst the old favorites.

This fun new tradition does a few things: it forces our family to sit down together every night to take a moment to celebrate the season; it allows my kids to get their “gift fix” right when they think they’re going to DIE if they can’t open that gift under the tree yet; and it even serves as a discipline tool….the child with the best manners at dinner gets to open the book that night.

This is something you can start tonight, even if you don’t have all the books yet, and is a great first step in our attempt to stretch out the season!

NEXT POST: An Advent game to improve your children’s manners all season long!



yabbadabbadoo said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Linda from Georgia said...

what a clever idea! The theme would also work for other holidays.