This year I had it together enough to do the 12 Days of Christmas Storytime with my son. Our bedtime routine lately has been a little rushed, as we get home late from after-school activities or have errands to run, so it's been a race to get dinner, bathe and brush teeth, and get to bed at a reasonable time before we have to start all over again. Sometimes I'd be too tired to wait for my son to pick a book and read it to him, and often it was the same one we'd just read a million times. I know that everyone has favorites, and re-reading books with kids is only good for them, but... I mean, I was really tired, ok? Mom-shame all you want, but some days, there was no way a bedtime story was happening, no matter how much he wanted it. And I'm sure you can imagine how much it hurt my librarian-mom heart to say no, but for sanity's sake, I'd have to.
12 Days of Christmas Storytime helped us make sure we prioritized reading together. My son loved opening a new book every day. The best part is - they weren't all new! Many were bought heavily discounted when our local bookstore closed last year, and I had tucked them away so I wouldn't give my son a ton of new books at once. Others were bought at our school's book fair. Others were bought from a used bookstore or from the library's discard cart. There's no need to break the bank if you want to do this with your kids! It's definitely possible to keep it affordable. I used a patchwork of leftover wrapping paper scraps, so I didn't have to buy or use new resources for that, either. Some were even wrapped in brown kraft paper, or a layer of tissue paper! My son is young enough to not care about presentation (if he ever will?) as much as the opening part!
All of these books were new to us, so they were fun to read. We went to bed knowing what book we were going to read, and my son did his necessary tasks a little bit faster knowing he had a new story to read. (He is usually the king of dawdling, so this kick in the pants was nice.)
I'm definitely going to start stockpiling books to do this again next year! I might even keep an extra stash of new-to-us books to use as incentives when it seems like we're not going to get a bedtime story that night. I think it will inspire both of us to get our chores out of the way and get ready for bed!