I used to read to my son before he was even born. I'd read stories to him in 'the bump' in the hope he would grow to recognise my voice. After he was born I took on the role of bath time and the night time book before bed. It is something we have always loved to do together. I strongly believe in the significance and importance of instilling a love of reading in my children. I hope Ted grows up surrounded by books and enjoying them.
So to encourage this, we've starting a new Christmas tradition this year. Rather than a chocolate advent calendar, we've got Ted a Christmas book for each day in the build up to Christmas. A book advent.
Each day, from 1 December, Ted has been choosing, unwrapping and reading a different book before bed. We have tried to create special family time each evening to just be together, uninterrupted, to enjoy the chosen book each day. We've also been sharing this on our Instagram and Facebook pages, so if you want to keep up with all the different books and how Ted is enjoying them, you can follow us here & here.
He enjoys turning the pages, looking at the pictures and hearing the different voices we use to read and I enjoy the closeness between us and watching him grow, learn and develop. But more than any of this, he loves the moment I get out his basket of books each day. Take a look:
I knew Ted would love the book advent but I didn't know quite how much! Every evening as the basket appears he gasps with excitement. He flaps his arms around and cheers. He squeals with delight and smiles the biggest smiles. The anticipation is wonderful to watch. He opens the wrapped book with a little help from Daddy and then we snuggle down together to enjoy the story.
Some days he sits still for the entire book and other days the first few pages are enough and he just wants to flick through the pages at his own pace, forwards and backwards through the story as he pleases.
Teddy has loved his book advent and so have we. He may not remember this year's but I always will and I'm sure as he grows older it will become a big part of Christmas for him.
This is a family tradition that I am very pleased we started. You can see from the photos and film clips how much we have all been enjoying it so far.