Start a New Holiday Tradition's picture

This holiday season include books and reading in your celebrations by participating in "A Book on Every Bed." Supported and promoted by Family Reading Partnerships (, this ritual has become a tradition in my family, and it is something we cherish and look forward to each year.

It's pretty simple. After your children have fallen asleep on a winter holiday’s eve, place a special gift-wrapped book at the foot of each child’s bed. The children will awake to find a special present they can open right away, and it keeps them in bed just a little bit longer. Last year "Santa" left a thick Lego Ninjago encyclopedia, complete with a tiny action figure, on my son's bed. He spent almost an hour sitting cross-legged on his bed with his stuffed friends, in no hurry to go out and peek under the tree. (Well, maybe he might have peeked a little, but he was perfectly content to snuggle back in bed and explore the powers of each Ninjago character.)

You can promote this holiday tradition in your library and community:

One-page flyer
Brochure, Bookmarks in English, and Bookmarks in Spanish from Family Reading Partnerships

Libraries might also consider providing families who many not be able to afford a book donated or low-cost books:

  • Funds for new books may come from your Friends group, or a special fund-raiser sponsored by library staff and trustees
  • Contact First Book ( to purchase low-cost books
  • Use leftover summer reading or other program books
  • Collect new or gently used books at the circulation desk
  • Work with your local schools
  • Partner with community or faith organizations

Spread the word: Give the gift of family literacy this holiday season.