One of the things I love most about doing signings at bookstores is chatting with customers. Often, as I am inscribing a book, customers will explain why they are buying the book and who they plan to give it to. Well, this weekend, one lovely customer got extra excited when she saw “Goodnight, Manger”. For the inscription, she asked that I inscribe it with a simple “Merry Christmas 2016”. Then she explained that my book would be part of her family’s most wonderful tradition – decorating the house for Christmas with picture books!
This tradition, she explained, began the year her first child was born. That Christmas she and her husband purchased their first Christmas picture book and displayed it as part of their holiday decor. The next year they bought a second book, the third year a third book and so on. For almost thirty years now, she has been decorating her house for Christmas with these picture books. Each year she nestles the new book somewhere among the special collection. And every year her children dash through the house looking for the new book. Her children are in their late 20’s now, but the they still look forward to coming home for holidays each December and searching for the newest book. I’m honored and delighted that this year “Goodnight, Manger” will be that special book!
I’m also wholeheartedly embracing this magical tradition! Typically, each December, I pull out a special box that holds our Christmas picture book collection and place it by our fireplace. All month we re-read our favorites and savor some new picks as well. But, I think that having the books out on display makes their presence even more special and engaging! Don’t you?
I’ve already caught my sixteen-year-old perusing the dining room display with interest. And I’ve decided, if the family is willing, that each night that we eat together (which unfortunately is no longer every night due to after school and evening activities), one of us will get to pick a favorite to re-read for the family after dinner.
For extra fun, I’ve decked this post with pictures of several spots in my house that are now decorated – picture book style – for the holidays. I think they warmly capture the spirit and charm of our new Christmas picture book tradition. Happy reading, all!