Christmas Books

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Christmas present books are all ready to go, all 45 of them! 

(except that one book, for that one kid, because it just doesn't feel quite right and I think I need to switch it for something else but I'm not quite sure what...)

They don't look any kind of pretty or Pinterest-y this year, because TIME and WRAPPING PAPER IS PACKED ALREADY, etc. but I kept the tradition intact and that's what really counts right now, I'm hoping. I had my traditional afternoon digging through the clearance section of Half Price Books over Thanksgiving Break, and then last weekend my traditional Book Sorting Mania. There is some kind of alchemy to getting just the right book for just the right kid, and it's a scary thought that I could give someone the completely wrong book and they would feel upset and you thought I would love THIS book? You don't know me at all! That would be bad. And we just had a new student transfer on Monday and I really DON'T know him at all. Each book has to be the right level of difficulty, while also considering appeal and interest and appropriateness...and some other factor that I don't have a word for. It's kind of like match-making.

Aaron teases me every year about the whole process, but he always sits near me while I'm sorting and makes suggestions. The new students are usually a bit let-down. "A book? thanks..." And I always laugh and say, "I'm your English teacher, what else did you expect? A video game? Cash?" But the students who have been around for a Christmas or two are almost always excited to see what I've picked out for them. A few books will get left forlorn in the lunchroom after the Christmas party, and quite more than a few (I am sure) go home to collect dust, unopened for all of eternity or at least until the electricity goes out in a storm one day and boredom levels become desperate. 
But some of the kids have been wanting to read this author for months now, or this is their favorite movie, is the book better? Or (after the break) that was the BEST BOOK EVER, do you know of any more like it?

(Oh yes I do, step right this way, darling)

Some of them touch hearts and inspire new dreams and open up new pathways, because books are magic like that. And those unread books send messages, too. They sit on the shelf and whisper you are are believed are unlimited. I'll take any opportunity to send that message, which is why this is our tradition even though it's silly and too much work and, you know, just books.


  1. I would have so much fun with that. I love your Christmas book tradition :)

  2. LOVE your message! And the wrapping is great, because candy canes make everything festive.


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