December 2, 2014

Tradition Tuesdays: Christmastime Book Basket

This month you won't be hearing from me every day at Life in the Valley, but I thought it would be fun to have some regular posting.  On Tuesdays in December, I will share one of our holiday season traditions.  Traditions give kids and other family members a sense of belonging and security in a world that is often unwelcoming and uncertain.  I fondly remember traditions we had in our home  when I was growing up, especially during this season of the year, like picking a tree at a local lot, sleeping by the fireplace trying to catch Santa, outdoor ice skating at Schenley Park, or making new years resolutions in "resolution booths" made out of couch cushions.

Now my husband and I have a family of our own and have created our own set of traditions, that I add to whenever I want!  What thrills me as a mom now is that our oldest anticipates and knows our traditions; for her they are part of life and she is disappointed when we can't make them happen.  She also gets the younger two excited about our family traditions - a delight to my heart!

Okay, enough of my bubbling over about how much I love traditions and the depth they add to a family's experience together.  Here's one I stole I think from Kristen Kill, who I met at an intensive at Sally Clarkson's house, blogs at HopewithFeathers, and is all around amazing!  She shared once that she had a basket of books that came out only in the Christmas season, a collection of carefully selected stories related to the time of year.  IT IS SO FUN!

We pack up the books with the Christmas decorations in the new year, then bust them back out again just after Thanksgiving!

The book basket!

Reading right away when the books came out this year!

When we first started, I collected whatever Christmas or winter-themed books we had and packed them up post Christmas.  Then I started buying each of the kids a new book for the collection each year, given on the first day of Advent.  One day when they leave the nest, they'll each have a small collection of stories to take along with them.

This year's books ready for their recipients.

Opening time!

That concludes the first installment of Tradition Tuesday.  I have a few more up my sleeve for you this December.  Many of the ideas I have stolen or adapted from others.  I would love to hear some of your favorite holiday traditions; I just might idea-steal from you next!

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