You know what it is a soon as you pick it up. You can feel the rigid spine under the cheerful holiday paper. It’s dense as you lift it from under the tree. And yet, even though you know without a doubt you’ve been given a book— what lies under that paper is still a complete and total surprise.
I know this because my parents give me a book every Christmas (yes, even now, as an adult). Some years it’s a children’s book with beautiful illustrations. Others it’s a book of holiday themed short stories. Ever year I look forward to pulling back the wrapping and discovering exactly what words are inside.
Occasionally the book gets wrapped in a box with a sweater, and I’ll admit that when I don’t spy it’s familiar bookish shape under the tree, I worry that it’s not there. That there won’t be that time after breakfast where my Dad pops the bluegrass album I gave him in the CD player, and we sit around the tree and read. The rest of them scanning the newspaper, and me cracking open that brand new, bought with love, picked just for me book.
The book is two gifts at once. I’m getting the author’s beautiful words, but I’m also getting the quiet, curled up time surrounded by people I love. Which to me, is what the holidays are all about.
Any special books you’re hoping to curl up with this holiday season? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!