How can you celebrate the holidays with your Little Free Library book exchange? Every year little library stewards surprise us with their wonderful creativity! Some easy ideas include:
- Add a red bow or wreath on a hook on the library post
- Decorate the library with twinkle lights
- Put a mug of candy canes or holiday-themed bookmarks in the library
If you want to take it a step further, then get inspired by the following stories of stewards taking their holiday celebrations to the next level!
24 Days of Christmas Reading and Holiday Bingo
Jill Siefken is the steward of Little Free Library #92031 in Manson, Iowa. (Find it on Little Free Library’s world map!) She maintains a Facebook group for her library and regularly posts reading statistics, photos of donated books, and different activities she’s doing. She has a few tricks up her sleeve for the holiday season!
First, starting on December 1, she’s been stocking her library with books wrapped up like presents. Jill says, “I’m hoping folks will participate in the 24-books-before-Christmas idea where you unwrap one book each day, starting December 1. Reading these books together as a family will not only increase a child’s love of reading, but it will encourage the whole family to read, as well.”
Second, Jill started “Siefken’s Winter Reading Challenge!” The idea is simple. Jill created a few different BINGO cards with a reading goal in each BINGO square. (Download the BINGO cards here.) She printed out the cards and put a bunch of them in her little library, plus she posted images in her Facebook group and encouraged people to print them out. Kids who complete a single row or get a blackout can bring their completed BINGO cards to Jill, either by leaving them in her library or by emailing Jill directly. In return, the kids get all sorts of reading-related prizes and the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishment!
Letters to Santa and Charity Drives
Jennifer Ouellette and her mother, Roxann, are both Little Free Library stewards. Jennifer maintains “Snoopy’s Little Free Library #58263” in West Seneca, New York. Her mother maintains “Grandma Roxann’s Little Free Library #75785,” also in West Seneca. They both enjoy using their little libraries to spread holiday cheer.
Jennifer supports local charities by running food and gift drives around the holidays. “This year I did a food drive for the West Seneca Community Food Pantry. Last year, I held a bottle-and-can drive for Kwentin and Vanessa’s Blankets for Sick Kids. (Two young kids who make blankets and donate them to local hospitals and charities.) The year prior to that, I held a gift drive for the Haven House of Buffalo, a safe haven for women and children who suffer from domestic violence,” says Jennifer.
Roxann delights the neighborhood kids by placing a bright red Letters-to-Santa Mailbox next to her library during the holiday season. Kids can drop letters in the mailbox and receive a personal, handwritten reply from Santa!
Jennifer says, “My mom is a big Christmas fan and always has been. This is her third year doing the letters. Last year she answered about a hundred and eighty-three … this year she has already gotten well over 200 letters. She answers every single letter she gets; each one is handwritten and personalized. The kids in the community love getting a personalized response from Santa and my mom enjoys reading the heartwarming wish lists!”
Learn more about Grandma Roxann’s Little Free Library. Looking for more festive ideas? Check out these cool ways to spread the joy of reading during the holiday season.