How To

How To Get Your Family Reading This Holiday Season

Most families have their holiday traditions together: maybe your family goes gaga over stockings or loves bundling up for a walk around to look at lights and decorations. However, there are plenty of ways to make sure that you and the ones you love do more than just eat, drink, and be merry. After all, some of the most comfortable moments with friends and family are spent reading! It makes sense to fit some reading traditions into your holiday celebrations, for many reasons. Here are just a few ways you can do that!

Use the holidays to connect over a great book. How to get your family reading this holiday season. holiday reading | family reading | how to

10 Ways to Help Your Family Read More

  1. Participate in the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod. It’s the large quantity of book publications right around the holidays (literally, Christmas Book Flood). Make it a point to spend some part of Christmas Eve opening book gifts and reading together as a family.
  2. No matter your holiday tradition, make one of the early gifts for young children an age-appropriate new book. Then, children read their prized new tomes to the whole family, or can be for their enjoyment later in the day.
  3. Find a nearby literary festival or local library event with your family and participate enthusiastically. Extra points if you dress up as book characters for part of it!
  4. Many families who don’t currently have young children realize that they don’t really need a big pile of presents this year. Suggest to your close family that you’ll each pick out a great used book, wrap it up, and do a “Secret Santa” gift exchange. That’s better than just exchanging a pile of gift cards. Everyone saves some money; if you want, use the savings for an experience, a great meal out, or even a trip together.
  5. Come up with some reading-related games to play together. Pull a literary trivia or literary bingo game offline. You can also try wordplay games like Catchphrase or Taboo together.

Need More Ideas?

  1. Got a crazy party planned for a particular night of your celebrating? Plan on a pretty easy brunch the next morning for anyone who gets up before noon, with plenty of books handy for reading. Book mornings (or afternoons…) can give some recovery time after a late night.
  2. Keep a pile of “rainy/snowy day” books available for the days that it just doesn’t make sense to get outside and go sightseeing. Books can be a way to keep from feeling like you have to constantly entertain each other as a family. If necessary, you can have snowball fight breaks!
  3. Create a version of an advent calendar that has to do with minutes of reading for the kids in your family. Each day, let them add stickers or stamps based on how much they read, all the way up to a present (hint: it can be a really great book!). Even adults might want to get in on the fun.
  4. Figure out where the biggest, most interesting bookstore in your area is (indie bookstores are fun sights to see!). Alternately, visit the home of a famous author as a way to get out of the house. Family togetherness grows when you are going somewhere together, where you cement a memory for the future.
  5. Give cookbooks for presents, and then pick recipes together to cook for your big meals this holiday season. Many families have a favorite cooking show, so feel free to frame your cooking as a competition or showcase; the delicious results make the new cookbooks even more meaningful when they are connected to a particular memory.

No matter how you figure in books and reading this holiday season, reading a little more together is great. It can let you relax, give introverts a break from the festivity, and focus on beautiful stories that all can share. You might even discover that your family have some great recommendations for your own next read!