‘Tis the season for traditions and holiday gatherings and that amazing smell of cinnamon and spice.
Time to decide if you’re going to send out the Christmas cards this year or just go with a group text. Time to add the newest family member to the stocking line up, to call your mom for her apple pie recipe and to nail down a date to host the work gift exchange.
I love the holidays and their happy chaos and their sweet memories and the way people grow just a little softer and a little jollier as the doors get their wreaths and the blow up reindeer earn their yard space.
In my family, one of our favorite annual traditions is one we call The Book on the Bed.
It’s not fancy, but it’s special to us and it’s been happening since my kids were in cribs and now one of them has her own home and she still loves this tradition.
The idea was born when the first Keigley kids were quite young. And it was born of both desperation and creativity. Both from wanting kids to just stay in bed for a while longer on Christmas morning AND wanting to elevate the love of reading and the joy of simple, smaller gifts. Plus, it’s been a delightfully easy tradition to keep going, no matter where we celebrate the holidays. (Books pack small and they’re easily shippable too!)
Here’s how The Book on the Bed works.
While the kids are sleeping on Christmas Eve, I sneak to their rooms and place a wrapped book on the foot of their beds. (When they were still crib dwellers, I didn’t always wrap it for safety reasons.)
In the morning, when their golden slumber ceases, they open their eyes, spy the book and are allowed to open it all alone in their cozy warmth and to enjoy its treasure.
It’s been a sweet way to encourage a quiet beginning to the Christmas holiday. It’s a lovely way to ensure that the gift of a book doesn’t lose its value underneath shinier and louder options. It creates an environment that says words have value and reading is special.
I love picking their books each year. I always include an inscription and the date on the inside front cover. They’ve all built up quite a collection over the years.
For the grandkids and the grown kid who no longer has her nightly bed in my home, I send the books wrapped up after our family’s Christmas Eve together tradition and trust that she’ll put the books on the beds at her house.
One year Mosely was really into Nancy Drew. I remember the year four-year-old Bergen received his own copy of Stellaluna after checking it out at the library weekly for the better part of a year. There have been cookbooks and comic books. Slow building collections of their own Lord of the Rings copies. A beautifully illustrated version of The Hobbit. Calvin & Hobbes is popular with every single age forever and always. I actually keep a list on my phone of books they mention so I can refer to that when I’m searching in December.
And if you’re not utilizing the amazing skills of the As the Page Turns staff for your book needs, you’re definitely missing out. They can find any book and have it delivered right to the shop. If you’re in a rush, they actually have a drive thru pick up window. (Always shop local when you can!)
I hope the Book on the Bed tradition is one my children will cherish and remember fondly.
What are some of your family’s favorite traditions?