I started hearing Christmas music in October. No exaggeration – I was still shopping for the final touches of my son’s Halloween costume when the bells were jingling and the sleighs were dashing right there in my radio speakers. I love family traditions and glowing lights and – oh, wow – nothing compares to the magical twinkle in my son’s eye when he talks about Santa’s imminent arrival. But I will be the first to admit that as parents we tend to put a whole lot of time, energy, excitement, and flat-out overexertion into birthdays and holidays. If we can pour blood, sweat, and tears into a five year old’s birthday party and poke our fingers raw sewing the world’s cutest Halloween costume, then I say we do our kids a favor and show the same enthusiasm for reading-focused holidays.

Acknowledge your kids’ teachers with a thoughtful gift on National Teacher Day (May 6th), bring your librarian flowers during National Library Week (April 13-19), and have some good ole family reading fun on Read Across America Day!

Created by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America has been a celebration of reading for 17 years. Its official date is March 2nd – Dr. Seuss’ birthday – but schools all over the country will be celebrating this exciting holiday today, Monday, March 3rd.

Parents, by showing our kids that reading is just as jolly as Santa Claus, as yummy as Halloween candy, as luscious as a dozen Valentine’s roses, and as sweet as a birthday cake, we can make Read Across America a day to look forward to each year.

So let’s all join in on the fun and get excited about books together! Have a Dr. Seuss read-a-thon before bed tonight, dress up as your favorite book characters for dinner, read together as a family instead of turning on prime time TV (click here for suggestions of great read aloud books), call your friends and family from across the country and share book recommendations, or on the way home today, stop by a bookstore or used book swap and treat yourselves to a new book.

By all means, continue shopping for Halloween costumes as early as August and pinning endless birthday party ideas to your Pinterest account. I will be right there with you. But let’s also show our kids that reading should be celebrated too!

Check out the NEA’s website for more information, visit Seussville.com for activity ideas, or hop on Pinterest to see Seuss-themed boards or search other reading-related activities.

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