My Little Man is big fan of books. If you lay out an options of toys, cars, blocks or books, he goes for the books every time. So when I read somewhere (probably on Pinterest) that someone wrapped up books then let their children open one each night to read before bedtime leading up to Christmas, I knew this would be a tradition I’d start. It also helped me rationalize purchasing the mass amount of books I recent bought a Costco for him (all Dr. Seuss, so really, you can’t go wrong, right?).
We’re opening up one book for 10 nights leading up to the big day.
I can’t tell you how cute it is to watch him rip open the paper, which took him about 2 minutes to figure out. Play with the paper, rip it up into small pieces and then once he’s done waving it around or trying to eat it, he realizes there’s a book at his feet and its AMAZING! He loves to look at each page and turn the pages himself. I’m so happy he loves books, its so good for his development!
Obviously, if you choose to do this and don’t want to spend a lot of money on new books, you can just as easily wrap up favorite books too. Books are expensive, so if ordering them on Amazon or Barns & Nobles isn’t practical, I’ve found some good discounts at Home Goods, T.J. Maxx, Ross and Big Lots and Kohl’s always has $5 books for their Kohl’s Care for Kids (this year there were Disney books). You can even check them out at the library, pick up some gently used one at a Thrift Store or Consignment sale, try the dollar section at Michael’s, JoAnn Fabrics, Target, the Dollar Tree and the 99Cent store. Are you a part of a mom group? Perhaps organize a Book Exchange/Book Chain letter (aka the best pyramid scheme you won’t feel bad about participating in). Next year I will definitely be mixing in new ones with his favorites. Its just as much about the surprise and anticipation as it is about the book. And ALL books are good for kids to read!
This year I did a theme; Dr. Suess. Go ahead and roll your eyes, I’m not showing off, I just happened to buy a bunch of 4-packs at Costco, and thought, “cool a theme.” Maybe by the time he’s 5, I’ll have enough Christmas or Holiday specific books to wrap up for a Holiday Theme. So if you start your own tradition, you could go with a theme too, for example: Animals, Dinosaurs, Adventure, Disney, Mercer Mayer, Llama Llama, Thomas the Train, etc. There’s no need for a theme, I think its fun (and the novelty will probably wear off as he gets older and I have less time to think about things).
So how to get started? Pick a time frame, get your books, grab some wrapping paper at the dollar tree or use newspaper laying around (if you still get the paper delivered), and go! Have a lot of books or an eager reader? Countdown every day starting December 1st. Too much? Try the count down the week till Christmas. Don’t celebrate Christmas? How about opening one each night of Hanukkah or each night of Kwanzaa. There’s so many options and there is NO WRONG WAY to do this! Have fun with it!
PS – If you do this and would like to share, please post a pic or comment of your little one enjoying their book!