Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions--What Will You Read?

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it has me thinking about traditions. I spend the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving thinking about my favorite tradition: what book I’m going to read. Since I am not the host for my family Thanksgiving (or perhaps not a very good guest), I get a lot more down time than some people. Once we’ve eaten our big dinner and taken our naps, while everyone else is huddled in front of the TV rooting for their favorite college football team or sifting through the paper to find the best sales for Friday shopping, or—forgive me, Mother-in-Law—cleaning the kitchen—I am sneaking away to a quiet room to read. There aren’t many times during the year that I can spend hours on end devouring a good book from start to finish, but for me, Thanksgiving is one of those times.

By definition, the holidays are a time of traditions. Many traditions are common, but it’s the personalized traditions that really create the sense of close friends and family that make up a holiday. One of my sister’s traditions is giving each of her daughters a book first thing in the morning when they wake up on their birthday. I love the idea that reading is a holiday tradition. Reading is one of my favorite indulgences on any of the major holidays, and the tradition began with my parents. In addition to eating, napping, watching football, and shopping, I always saw my parents sitting down with a good book. Even in a household of nine children, a recipe for chaos, there were quiet moments where everyone was tucked in a corner or chair with a good book.

So this Thanksgiving, take a few moments to incorporate reading into your family tradition with your children. Things can get pretty hectic during the holidays. Set them up with a lifetime of good habits and a few moments of quiet, imaginative peace. Give yourself a moment to escape from what can sometimes turn into holiday madness—and read a book. It might just become your favorite tradition.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Hooked on Phonics.

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