I saw a terrific idea for counting down to Christmas day with children. First you wrap up a book for each day leading up to Christmas. They can be new books, used books, books from the library, or even books that you already have at home. Each day, the children get to open one wrapped book and then it is read aloud for the family. It’s a little surprise to look forward to each day and a nice time of sharing.
I remember the wonderful world that books opened for me. Slowly, my personal library grew with books received as birthday and Christmas gifts. I still have some of my childhood favorites.
I asked Toni if she would like me to read a Christmas story to her. “I can read on my own,” she declared. I guess she thought she was too old to have stories read aloud to her. Oh well, at least she was interested in reading. I got out some of my fifty-year-old children’s books for her to choose from.
She picked out A Is For Annabelle to read. I suggested that she share it with the Christmas Bear. They had become very friendly sitting under the Christmas tree together.
She had already started reading the ABC book, but stopped for the bear to join her. She started over from the beginning, “A is for Annabelle, Grandmother’s doll.” She continued on through “B for her box on the chest in the hall.” She turned the pages slowly, looking at every detail of Annabelle’s dresses, the box for keeping the dresses in, the fan, the gloves, the hat with its “elegant feather,” and all the way to the end which was “Z is her zither.”
Since she enjoyed it so much, I brought the little white bear over to hear it. She obligingly read it again.
I told her that tomorrow, she could choose a different book to read. “Are there anymore stories about Annabelle?” she asked. I didn’t have any other Tasha Tudor’s books on hand, so maybe a trip to the library in January would take care of that.
“I have ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas but let’s save that one to read on Christmas Eve,” I said. It had beautiful illustrations by Jessie Willcox Smith.