Words and Stories Warm the Heart

As the days get colder and darker, turn to family traditions to bring warmth and light into your home. Gathering with family and friends, spending time volunteering and helping others, or maybe cooking a holiday meal together can make winter special.

Make sure to include books and word fun for your family, too. Adopt some of these ideas and create new family traditions that can be passed on to future generations.

“A Book On Every Bed” for your family. Choose a book for each child–new or used. Wrap it and place it at the foot of each child’s bed one night before a holiday or other special day so the children wake up with a gift to open. Repeat next year (or next special occasion).

Sing a holiday song together. Teach your children the songs that celebrate the holiday you observe and sing them together. You can show them the written music, follow along on a You-Tube rendition, or just recall the song from memory. Talk about the words in the song. Those words describe events and thoughts from long ago. What do they mean to you now?

Write cards. Help your child type out an email message or write on a real paper card, a note to a grandparent or far-away friend. When you send out a greeting, you may get one back! You can also show your child how to write names for place cards at a holiday meal, or names on gifts that you will be giving this holiday season.


Learn from a book. Follow a recipe in a cookbook or follow directions for a craft project. When you find something you love to do together, do it again next year and start the tradition. Do you have a recipe for mulled cider or hot chocolate you can make together? How about cutting snowflakes out of paper and putting them in your window or making a bird feeder out of a pinecone with peanut butter and seed?

Read books together. Start a collection of winter or holiday books that you bring out just at this time of the year. Add these special books into the mix of read-aloud to spice up reading time. There’s no better way to stay warm this season than snuggling up with a child to read!


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Filed under activities, family book traditions, family reading

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