Give Them the Gift of Words
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Marie Owens, MEd.
Marie Owens is an education consultant, freelance writer and an overjoyed aunt.
The holiday season often brings many merry gifts into our lives: the reunion of family members from far-flung time zones, an unexpected glimpse of newly fallen snow, or even opportunities to count and recount our many blessings. As Savvy Aunties, we can bring a type of gift into the homes of our little nieces and nephews that not only offers benefits this holiday season but also has the ability to keep giving all year-round: the gift of reading. While many Aunts have lovingly given leather-bound (or now, electronic-bound) books to their nieces and nephews for centuries, perhaps this year a new twist on this practice can become holiday tradition: showing our young ones how to give the gift of books that delight, entertain, and educate to the people they love the most.
We can help our young people craft the ultimate biblio-gift by first asking questions like: What is the person you want to give this treat to like? Do they have any hobbies or interests? What types of books do they already love? What do you like to read that you would want to share with this person? These questions can open up your nieces and nephews to ideas for giving and help them see the vast array of literary options they have at their disposal. And because simply perusing the local bookstore can be an overwhelming experience, you can help guide their gift selection and ensure the entire experience is a positive one.
Once a little reader has narrowed down their search for the ultimate gift of words into a genre or series, an Auntie can help pick out the perfect title or medium for the book. Perhaps a classic mystery on audiobook is just the right pick for grandpa, or maybe Cousin Mary needs an e-book for her upcoming trip to Paris, and maybe little brother is just the right age for his first chapter book from author Roald Dahl. By taking the time to guide others through this process of gift selecting, we can pass on a gift that has no price tag and that never goes out of style. An Auntie with a love of reading and a touch of patience can help select book choices that make our little ones inspired and ensure our generous givers feel the power of this lasting gift.
After the ultimate book has been selected by this young editorial team, still other selections must be made: To bookmark or not to bookmark? What kind of wrapping paper complements the theme of the book? Is there a plush character from the series that might need to accompany its pages? These fun decisions can further ensure that your young givers see the value and excitement in giving words instead of the toy that may be cast aside in a few months’ time. Plus, everyone loves a gift within a gift no matter their age.
Giving a book means giving a portal to a new world, and as Aunts many of us naturally think to give these timeless tokens of love. When we show our nieces and nephews that book-giving means opening a world of adventure, they not only have the opportunity to see its value in their own lives, they can experience the reverberating joy of passing it on. And as countless holiday movies, songs and cards can attest, that is the true spirit of this festive, generous, and enchanting season.
Published: December 11, 2012