Every December we drag out a large box of unique book reports that my daughters began compiling many moons ago. Why would we revisit a crate full of elementary- and middle-school book reports every yuletide season? Because they aren’t chicken-scratch-filled, wide-ruled papers exuding uninteresting details of easy-reader books that no one will ever read again. They’re origami ocean creatures, Shrinky Dink Anne Shirleys, mini Sculpey clay cakes that announce “Eat Me,” and many other handmade Christmas ornaments reminiscent of characters, scenes, and our favorite quotes from classic books we’ve read together over the years.
Now that it was time to take down our leaf-filled Thankful Tree, we were eager to make the trek to unearth our Reading Tree… the trek into the belly of the barn’s attic. It was dim and cold, and the smell of hay made my nose itch. I tripped over a few field hockey sticks, stubbed my boot on a steel bucket, and rammed my head into a low, hand-hewn beam before we finally found what we were looking for: an artificial tree and an unassuming black plastic storage box, with a gray lid labeled “Reading Tree” in elementary-school penmanship.
I should explain, the Reading Tree is our family’s first step into Christmas each year–starting with one little corner and branching out from there. It is not our “real” tree. We will go to pick that out in a few days, and that one will smell of evergreen and MOOOOve into “center stage” in our home.
(Like how I snuck in that allusion to our newest member on the homestead? But more about Scout in another post… )
Yes, our Christmas trees and even our cows offer literary references. 🙂 I am, after all, a Language-Arts-kinda gal, and–thankfully!–all my daughters have followed suit.
Today I’m sharing over on Proverbial Homemaker all about our Family Reading Tree, the memorable ornaments that little hands made over the years, and the family tradition I UDDERly cherish. (Whoops, I did it again.) Take a second to read how the “wasted” hours, which stretched over many years, turned into one of the most memorable, productive, still-on-going projects in which we ever invested our time. Honestly. Check it out…