Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our Christmas Reads

Our Streak, begun Thanksgiving Day, has awarded us many hours of lovely read-aloud time.  We always celebrate the Christmas season by reading aloud from our collection of Christmas titles.  This year we have enjoyed many treasures together. 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - Would you bellieve I had never read this book?!?  I had seen movies, heard retellings, but I decided this was the year we were going to read Dickens own words.  We all loved it.

I Saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge - I listed this book last year as a future favorite and it is now a present favorite.

A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy - This book is a beloved yearly tradition in our home.  One of our favorite gems of all time.  What makes it so special this year is knowing that more families have been able to enjoy it!  It has recently been reprinted!  I call this a "don't even think about missing it" book.

The Christmas Stove by Alta Halvorson Seymour - This was also on my future list last year.  This is a tender book full of hope, giving and sacrifice.  Seymour wrote many Christmas titles and we've enjoyed them all.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Amelia Houghton -  We are currently reading this one.  I hesitated on reading it since our children have never been taught that Santa was real but so many families in my library have loved it.  My boys balked at first but it is such a well-told story, we are all enjoying it tremendously.

I don't think we've read so many books for the Christmas season! Granted these are all relatively short so if you haven't begun yet, there is still time to pick up any one of these and create a memory.

May the God of our Salvation bless you and keep you during this season and throughout the year to come.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Streak


We have begun a new challenge in our home.  Recently I began The Reading Promise:  My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma.  I discovered this book from a podcast called Read-Aloud Revival, hosted by Sarah Mackenzie.  This is an inspiring podcast which encourages us to "build our family culture around books".  She has interviewed many wonderful guests, one being Alice Ozma.

Alice is the daughter of a children's librarian.  When Alice was a young girl, she and her father decided to see how many days he could read aloud to her without missing.  They set a goal of 100 days.  The rules were simple.  He would read aloud to Alice for at least 10 minutes by midnight.  Occasionally conflicts would arise and they would find themselves up late reading but they met their goal.  Over their celebration meal of pancakes, they decided to set another goal.  One thousand nights. They called their reading challenge The Streak.  The Reading Promise is filled with fun and often poignant anecdotes of the life they shared around the books they read.

The Streak finally came to an end...3,218 days later...when Alice left for college.  In those 3,218 days, Alice and her father cemented a bond that could not be broken.

Our family has decided to have a Streak of our own.  Now we obviously already have a family culture built around books being that we live with nearly 18,000 of them and we rarely miss a day reading aloud.  But sometimes we do allow conflicts to interfere or we decide to head off to bed after a busy or stressful day without reading.

To give us a reachable goal, especially around the holidays, we decided to try to make it through the end of the year.  We began on Thanksgiving and we will see if we can read aloud every single day until December 31.  (Of course, I have every intention of starting again on January 1 with the goal of the full year.)

I have found that, even though we already read aloud most every day, we have become more intentional about our reading.  It has become even more of a priority to enjoy books together as a family.  It would be a beautiful thing if my boys have a bond with us that cannot be broken because of the books we've read.

As this year draws to a close, consider building your family culture around the books you read in the coming year.  Maybe even consider starting a Streak in your family.  At the very least, share a book together today.  

This post was shared on Literary Musings Monday and The Book Nook.