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24 Nights

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

Each night we sit together around a tree decorated in ornaments collected through the years. We have several trees in my house but this one holds a special place in my heart, probably because it is covered in ornaments made by the hands of my kids over the years at their school desks and brought home wrapped in tissue paper. Ornaments given each year to remind them of Christmases past. Underneath this tree are 24 wrapped Christmas story books. One for each night of the month of December. The kids on a rotation unwrap one each night.

The tradition started four years and now on our fifth year the kids all know what to expect. Each night a little bit of Christmas magic is opened up. My kids are rapidly growing up and all of the books we open are below the reading levels of all but one child. They still all get excited to open the book on their night. Children’s books are a passion of mine and I collect, so I am happy to pass that love onto my kids. Sometimes they will read it out loud but most nights they hand me the book and I read it to them. It’s a simple moment. The whole process takes only 10 to 15 minutes but for those minutes the world is blocked out and my kids are just kids listening to a book.

It is probably my most favorite and more cherished tradition at this point. We have 96 books and will end with 120 this year and I don’t know how long we will be able to find new books to sustain it but one of the perks of having five kids is I can always buy doubles or triples of books because eventually they can use them for their homes. I spend all year collecting the books, that is part of why it’s special because as I wrap them to put under the tree I remember where and why I picked that specific book. Some have been chosen while away with treasured friends, some have been chosen at the school Book Fair, some have been randomly selected off Amazon because it is easy, and the book looks interesting. This year most were selected off Amazon and out running errands with my husband because 2020 is an upside-down world. The tradition holds and brings its simple magic into my home each night.

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