I'm that annoying aunt who always gives kids books as gifts, and this is why. Just like Michelle, I was the kid surrounded by shiny toys on Christmas morning, nose stuck in a book. (This picture is from 1988, at the height of my Baby Sitters Club obsession.)
It's hard to pick just one favorite memory. When I was five, my kindergarten teacher had me read to the class when she was called out of the room. My mom told everyone she knew, which made me inordinately proud. My dad read to my sister and me every night, and those books are still some of my favorites: The Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte's Web, The Borrowers, The Boxcar Children.
But very best has been watching my boys learning to love books. I had a lot of "rules" for parenting before I actually became a parent, but the one I've stuck to the closest is "I will always read to you when you ask." It's served us well. Nothing beats passing down our favorites (last month my son decided he too wanted to live in a boxcar, but only if Mommy, Daddy and little brother could come), and we've found a few new favorites (dear Mo Willem, I LOVE YOU).
The very best: Seeing my boys have some Christmas morning moments of their own.
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