8 Clever Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Books

8 Clever Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Books

by Jennifer Ridgway

from Brightly

If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate books into your holiday celebrations, here are a few fun ideas. Some of these may require DIY work (although many can also be found on Etsy). Some will be great for your kids to help you make.

These ideas are but the tip of the snowflake; if you have other ideas for making your holiday more literary, please share in the comments below!

1.  Books As Gifts

books-as-giftsThis is probably the most straightforward idea. There is a book out there for pretty much everyone, even if they’re not readers. You can create a themed gift around a book: a cookbook with an oven mitt, cookie cutters, and cookie sheet; a photography book with a memory card and gift card to print photos; a picture book with a coordinating stuffed animal. Use your imagination! You could also do a book swap in place of Secret Santa or host a book swap party with your friends.

2.  Book Advent Calendar

book-advent-calendarsaw this idea online and started doing it for my twins. Choose 24 books, wrap them, and stack them. Have your child choose one every night in December leading up to Christmas. You can use all holiday/winter themed books or not. You don’t have to buy all new books; I mostly use books we already own. I try to put The Night Before Christmas at the bottom and save it for December 24.

3.  Eight Nights of Books

hanukkah-calendarYou can also adapt the above idea for Hanukkah, doing one book for each of the eight nights.

4.  Books As a Christmas Tree
Grab a bunch of books and stack them up so that they look like a Christmas Tree! You can place a star on top or use a book propped up as a topper. This will save you money on a tree and the trimmings, as well as being environmentally friendly. Note: This idea is better for those with older children, or you may find your baby/toddler constantly pulling out books. For a smaller tree, you can open books and stack them with the widest at the bottom.

5.  OrnamentsOrnaments, Ornaments
There are a quite a few ways to decorate your tree with bookish flair. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cut the pages of an old book into strips. Grab some clear ball ornaments. Open the top, and curl some of the strips of type inside. Close up and hang on the tree.
  • Make your favorite characters or authors into ornaments. This is a great craft to do with your kids using paper or felt.
  • Print out mini covers and glue them onto cardboard or thick card stock. Your kids can also help with this.
  • You can also create garland with some of these ideas (made by stringing book covers/characters/authors together).

6.  Wrapping Presents
book-page-bowYou can add a bookish aesthetic under your tree with how your wrap your presents. Wrap in monogram colors that have a library/old book appeal (think burgundy, brown, and cream colored papers without shine). Then, print out a paragraph or quote from the wrapped book (or snap a photo) and tape it to the outside. Find wrapping paper with books, book titles, authors, etc. as the print (these can be found at bookstores and on Etsy). Etsy is also a great resource for book washi tape, which you could use in conjunction with single-color paper. There are tutorials online to make bows from book pages. Bonus points for using books such as A Christmas Carol for any of these!

7.  Bookmarks As Holiday Cards

bookmark-holiday-cardRather than sending out holiday cards, make bookmarks! You could still use a family photo, but also include a quote from a book.

8.  Adopt Iceland’s Tradition
In Iceland, most people receive a book as a gift on Christmas Eve. The whole family then tucks into bed to read their new book that night.

Featured this week: Hanukkah Books

Featured in the Little Free Library this week – Hanukkah books!

I’m sorry they’re late – it’s already the fourth night of Hanukkah, and I’m only just getting the books out to the LFL. My only excuse is that I’ve been sick for the last *3 weeks* with a wicked respiratory infection that now includes a sinus infection. 😣

In any case, here we are!


Hooked on Horror?

Didn’t get enough horror and scary stories over Halloween? Check these out!

13 Creepy Books to Try if You’ve Never Read Horror Before

Spooky, Scary Chapter Books

The 9 Best Horror Stories You Can Read Online (for Free!) This Halloween

25 of the Most Terrifying Horror Books Ever

21 Scary Books that are More Terrifying than Any Horror Movie

7 Terrifying Horror Novels that will Keep You Up All Night

Two-sentence Horror Stories (they don’t all have to be books, folks! Reading is still reading!)

What are your favorite scary stories?

Countdown to Halloween: War of the Worlds

In case you haven’t had enough scary stories for the Halloween season, maybe it’s time to check out War of the Worlds.  The adaptation for radio broadcast was directed and narrated by Orson Welles, and performed by The Mercury Theater on the Air on this date in 1938, and supposedly inspired a nation-wide panic that actual Martians were actually invading Earth and actually taking over. Sources disagree on exactly how much panic occurred, but apparently some did happen – the city of Concrete, Washington, for example, coincidentally experienced a phone and electrical power outage right around the time of the broadcast, and in other areas, tensions from World War II led to more than a little alarm about invaders from beyond. Subsequent productions and remakes also caused alarm, such as in Quito, Ecuador, in 1949, and Lisbon, Portugal, in 1958. (How did this happen? How were listeners not completely clear that this was just a performance? Check out this article). But then again, maybe little or no panic actually happened, and it was all media hype. Given what appears to be a shocking amount of gullibility regarding news, fake news, science, and infotainment on all ends of the political spectrum today, I have to believe a whole lot of people were fooled by Welles’s broadcast, if not actually induced to “panic”.

War of the Worlds shaped the direction of science fiction as well as popular media in general. The radio broadcast demonstrated how easy it is for the media to present “alternative facts” while discrediting “fake news” in ways that viewers and readers will believe.

Haven’t read War of the Worlds yet? Read it for free in any one of several formats!  Want to know more about what you’re reading, about was going on in the world, what influenced Wells’ writing?  Check out this study guide.

Let me know what you think, eh?

(And while we’re at it – want to understand “fake news” better? Try some of these books)