As most families who celebrate Christmas, we have a few on-going Christmas traditions. When my husband and I were newlyweds, he gave me a pop-up Hallmark book of The Night Before Christmas. As our family began to grow, each year on Christmas Eve he would snuggle down with the kids and read this wonderful classic. Although the idyllic picture would have you believe that this was a quiet moment together, it wasn't always so, since the kiddos took turns on each page to make the story come to life with the opening of doors, sliding of Santa up the chimney, and making his belly jiggle!
Year after year, this was one of the necessary events to make each Christmas eve special. One year my husband would be away for Christmas as he would be spending his Christmas deployed with the military overseas. Always one to think ahead, he recorded himself reading the book on a tape recorder so that things would go along as normal for our Christmas here back home.
When our kids were teenagers I found a newer Hallmark pop-up book and purchased one for each of them. When the girls got married, these books were packed up right along with other valuables so that they could continue this tradition with their own families.
Even as our children have gotten older and the two girls now have families of their own, they still insist that their dad read the original pop-up book to them each Christmas. Our daughters, along with all four of our grandkids and our sons-in law are currently living in Japan, stationed there with the military. Last year my husband was up before dawn logging onto the computer with Skype so that he could read each of the families their story before bedtime.
As times have changed and technology surges ahead, we received a recordable book last year from our daughter, Kathleen so that dear old Dad can record his voice for generations to come. We can only hope that this recording will last as long as my original pop-up book. Even with its worn cover and a few body parts taped in place, it's still one of our favorite decorations and has a special place on our shelf and in our hearts.