I have always loved getting books for Christmas.
I can still recall taking our stairs two at a time, the dark wood cold on my feet, the bannister skipping and sliding under my hand as I raced toward the first floor. Our house had a formal dining room just to the right of the staircase, and on Christmas Eve, my parents would close the pocket doors, sliding them shut so that my sister and I could not see inside until it was time to get up the next day. In the wee hours, right before we woke our parents, we stand in front of those doors. There would be a tiny amount of light peeking through, like an elevator that hadn’t closed all the way, and we’d see the flashing of the tree lights, a beacon, calling us toward the deliciousness that was Christmas morning.
We’d get all sorts of gifts. I remember shoes, a radio, makeup, blankets, video games, all the things two little girls ask for as they move, slowly at first, then so much faster, toward adulthood.
One thing I remember most is opening presents that contained books. I was, and still am, a voracious reader. I would make lists for my mom detailing the books I wanted to receive, and she would always come through.
A box set of Christopher Pike novels remains one of my favorite gifts. There were three books inside, each glossy and crisp, waiting for me to crack them open. More than just being books, they were adventures I couldn’t have any other way. They promised intense feeling, excitement, and a tiny fairy on my shoulder reminding me all day long that soon....soon I could get back to them and our adventures would continue.
I feel the same way now when I plan a vacation. The anticipation of what’s coming, the knowledge that no matter what’s been going on in my days, I have something waiting, and it will be amazing.
Give the gift of imagination this year. The first books in a series are a great place to start.