Love to gift a good book? Our contributor Lacey Keigley has an excellent idea for how to give your kids the important gift of a book for Christmas without it being lost in the shuffle! This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
I don’t think there’s a Keigley gene for Early Rising. Sure, as very newborn humans the kids woke up early – but 3 am isn’t actually early. It’s more like – late. Or middle of the night.
My dad was an extremely early riser. Despite his hopes and his best efforts, the habit has never actually rubbed off on me. And not on my children either.
I have friends whose non-baby children routinely awake at o’dark thirty, full of energy and go-get-em. I pity those parents. (Just kidding. They all seem happy about sunrises. Good for them.)
Our kids are mostly late sleepers and quiet awakers. Hooray for me. And, truly, Christmas morning is generally more of the same.
(I bet you were wondering where this ramble was heading. It’s heading this way. I’ll show you. I start my posts like I start my mornings – slow.)
The tradition began
We have never had a Christmas morning with children bouncing into our bed at 4 am nor have we heard secret unwrapping sounds at 6 am. However. Since early on I was not certain how the Christmas mornings would find our children, I had prepared an idea to battle the potential Too Early Christmas Morning Woes.
This tradition began when my oldest daughter, Riley, was small – and it’s been a steady family favorite since then. Since those early years, there has never been a Christmas without this tradition. (Even Christmas mornings on the road – this has been one easy tradition to take along with us.)
While the kids are sleeping on Christmas Eve, I sneak to their rooms and place a wrapped book on the foot of their beds. In the morning, when their golden slumber ceases, they open their eyes, spy the book and are allowed to open it all alone in their cozy warmth and to enjoy its treasure.
It’s been a sweet way to encourage a quiet beginning to the Christmas holiday. It’s a lovely way to ensure that the gift of a book doesn’t lose its value underneath shinier and louder options. It creates an environment that says words have value and reading is special.
I love picking their books each year. I always include an inscription and the date on the inside front cover.
One year my daughter was really into Nancy Drew. This year my girls are loving the Warrior series. I remember the year four-year-old Hawkeye received his own copy of Stellaluna after checking it out at the library weekly for the better part of that year. There have been cookbooks and comic books. A slow building collection of their own Lord of the Rings copies. A beautifully illustrated Hobbit. The kids have pored over treasured Calvin and Hobbes books for years.
I hope the Book on the Bed tradition is one our children will cherish and remember fondly – and even – find themselves sharing one day with their own children.
For more Christmas gift ideas, see our Greenville Gift Guide.
Does your family have a favorite Christmas tradition?