Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Slice of Life - rethinking a family tradition

An unexpected response came my way when I asked my youngest, "Do you want to do our holiday book a day tradition?"  She replied with certainty, "Yes!"  I was a bit caught off guard because I remember last year her interest seemed to diminish a bit as the twenty four days were passing.  I wanted to be realistic and realize my girls are growing up, things change, and it's okay if we have one less thing to do.  She is the youngest of three girls.  She is in middle school now as a sixth grader.  She warmed my heart she wanted to be my reading partner each night for twenty four days.

We've been doing a holiday book as an advent calendar since she was born.  When her oldest sister was little I didn't want an advent calendar with chocolate.  Candy was very limited in our house.  I didn't want an advent calendar with trinket toys resembling a fast food drive in kids meal treat.  Those types of meals never happened in our house.   Then one day I read about wrapping twenty four holiday books and opening one a night, perfect!

I didn't question her answer but began thinking about how could I keep her interest from diminishing this year.  I had to assess our current collection.  Our collection of holiday books is far more than just twenty four.  Our holiday book collection has fun stories and stories that retell the Christmas story.  We have simple rhyming stories and some stories that more involved picture book stories.  We have heard these stories many times over the years.  As I reflected about keeping her interest, I thought about my classroom library.  I concluded I wanted to include some favorites.  I wanted to get some new titles.  I wanted to include various genres; poetry, nonfiction, fantasy, realistic fiction, and biography-ish titles.  I also wanted to include titles with bigger messages and explanations for different traditions.  I'm really excited to have a reading partner for the next twenty two days.  

Since I wrapped the titles before writing this post I hope you will follow our reading journey via twitter @mandyrobek and consider joining me using the hashtag #holidaybookaday.  I specifically chose this hashtag so anyone, celebrating any holiday could share their reading lives.  This could be a neat way to expand our reading lives and global thinking.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.


  1. That sounds like a fantastic holiday tradition. I hope that you have a wonderful time exploring new and old book friends this month. :)

  2. I just started doing this with my 4 and 2 year old children. They like it, and I hope they keep liking it every year! I suppose as the kids get older the books change? At the very least, the books are enjoyed from a new perspective. Have fun!