Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Best to Give and Receive

It’s the perfect time of year to talk about the best gifts to give and receive: BOOKS! I still love the old adage—a book is a gift you can open again and again, and I remember thinking it was so clever when I first heard it as a child. I still couldn’t agree more!

One of our family traditions is for each member to open one present on Christmas Eve. We always choose a book for that one present—one we can cuddle up with and read together by the Christmas tree. It’s a heart-warming tradition I hope we’ll always continue. Here’s what we unwrapped this year.

(Should be easy to place each book with mom, dad, four-year-old daughter, and one-year-old son.)

I’m sure you’d also agree, books are great gifts to receive ANY time of year and for all occasions! In fact (spoiler alert), if you ever invite me to a baby shower, I can tell you right now that I give the new baby books. There are so many amazing board books out there that engage even newborns—and the nestling up time new parents have while reading to babies is irreplaceable. As a former teacher who spent several years teaching children how to read, I can promise you that it’s never too early to start.

Another popular tradition this time of year is “Best Of” lists, so in case you’re still thinking about books to give and receive (any time of year), here are some of my favorite books I read in 2013, and also some of my favorites I read to someone this year.

(As an aside, I hope anyone reading this post has a child somewhere in their life that they can read to. Niece, nephew, grandchild, neighbor, son, daughter…reading to children is one of my favorite pasttimes ever. I love picture books, and my only hang up with trying to write one is that I am a romance freak. My books Must.Have.Romance.) :)

Some of my favorite YA books this year.

Some of my favorite kids’ books this year.

So there you have it—my best to give and receive in books!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and wish all my best for 2014!