Christmas Reading

December 13, 2007

Yesterday was one of my very favorite days of the Christmas Season. Almost everyone in our office left mid morning and visited a neighboring school to read. We’ve been doing it for several years now. At first only a handful went, but this year was by far the best turnout. For me it is like going home since it is the school where I worked, and my children attended.

Willi read my very favorite story, Red Ranger Came Calling. He had a third grade classroom and they were hanging on his every word. I came in toward the end, just in time for the finale. The kids were on their knees crowded around him to see the last picture in the book. If you haven’t read this book, you should. There is something in it for all ages.

Our resident cowboy, George, read Cowboy’s Night Before Christmas to the kids in the transitional kindergarten and first grade class. He brought a saddle and all of the riggings, hoisted it on top of a media cart, and all of the kids had a turn riding the imaginary horse. I don’t know who had more fun; George or the kids!

My friend, Rita, read A Wish for Wings that Work: An Opus Christmas Story, another one of my favorites. She usually reads The Polar Express, but had a younger group and wanted to try something new. I was glad to oblige. Diane read Santa’s Twin, by Dean Koontz. This was a new one for me, too. I am adding it to my Christmas wish list.

I read to the same first grade class every year and took a few books with me so that we could choose one they hadn’t heard yet, which turned out to be Welcome Comfort. It is a story about a boy who is picked on, and then befriended by the elementary school custodian. He says, “Believin’ is Seein” when it comes to Santa. You’ll need to read this one to find out just what happens, but boy is it good.


They asked for another, so I shared one of my new finds. We talked about whether soldier’s had Christmas or not. We read the book and decided they did. Or at least something similar to it, since their Santa was actually Sargeant McClaus and he drove a team of Humvees which brought gifts of cookies and handmade cards from home. They decided they would make cards for soldiers later in the day.

The Soldiers’ Night Before Christmas
Trish Holland and Christine Ford
Random House Children’s Books

Some of us brought books that were read to us as kids. It was neat to see the worn covers and softened pages. All in all, there were 14 that went. We shared our experience when we got back. It was the first time for one of the girls from my corner of the world. I had encouraged her to go several times, and this year she took me up on it. She was a little scared at first, but loved it. The kids had presented her with a handmade card and a gift with a note that read, “don’t open me, but keep me close to your heart so that you remember we are thinking of you”. I love this day. You just can’t spread Christmas cheer without getting a little on yourself.


5 Responses to “Christmas Reading”

  1. Tink Says:

    What an awesome tradition! I wish a group did that around here. I’m telling you, my life is sorely lacking Christmas spirit. The people I work with are all so dang selfish. Can I work with you instead? 🙂

  2. coffeypot Says:

    What??!!?? No one read The Stand by Stephen King? What is Christmas without that book?

  3. R.E.H. Says:

    I certainly didn’t know Dean R. Koontz had written a Christmas story… is it scary?

  4. gawilli Says:

    Tink – Come on! I would love it if you worked with me. We really have a great group of people. There are 18 in our building and they are all kid minded. I love that.

    Coffeypot – Maybe if he writes a Christmas book…

    R.E.H. – It’s about Santa’s evil twin brother, Bob and the two sisters who rescue Santa. It is one of those books that will appeal to children on one level, and adults on the other. The illustrations are outstanding. Give it a try!

  5. Hilary Says:

    What a great idea. I used to spend a large chuck of my week at the elementary school when my kids attended. I so miss that. Thanks for the memories. 🙂

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