Stories are as old as humankind itself and they are integral to every part of our lives, so much so that they resonate with our very being. They draw us in and speak to us at a very deep level. Indeed, most of our ways of understanding the world are narratives of one form or another. Stories are at the heart of how we communicate and understand what’s going on around us.
Not least at it’s heart Christmas is a story about what happened a long time ago.
A recent study shows that parents place huge value on reading to their children at Christmas.
“Time & nostalgia fuels parents to prioritise reading in the holiday season” is what this study concludes. It was commissioned by Egmont, a publisher of children’s titles, whose stated aim is to encourage more and more children to enjoy the sheer pleasure of reading. In 2014 they funded a series of studies into the changing nature of children’s reading, but more of those in another post.
Indeed over half the respondents said that reading for pleasure during the holiday season helped make Christmas special.
The study also asked parents to give their favourite Christmas stories and the top ten are a whole mixture of traditional and modern classics.
Being read to as a child, by a parent or grandparent, is a wonderful early memory that most of us have – sadly not all, though. Indeed a lot of parents say that their own fond memories of being read to at Christmas have made them keen to pass on that as a family tradition.
“There are so many feelings associated with reading. The obvious one is parents’ belief that it is a good thing for their children’s education and academic success. But at this time of year the ‘softer’ feelings really come to the fore. Parents want their children to experience the magic, joy, comfort, excitement, pleasure and relaxation a good story can bring. By reading to their children they can share these feeling.”
Read more about the Egmont study “Christmas Traditions and the Emotional Power of Reading” here: www.egmont.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Egmont-Reading-Street-ch4.pdf
Just remember, even if you weren’t read to as a child, reading to your own children is a gift that you can pass on to them right now.