Immediately after Thanksgiving dinner, the kids and I began setting up the Christmas tree, rolling out the lights and otherwise decorating the house. There was no discussion about when or where to begin; it was understood.
This was accepted behavior. This was ritual. This was tradition.
I can’t quite place when or where it all started – though, given that my eldest is nine now, I’d estimate it to be about a decade deep – but I do understand that its roots extend much further into the past. The holiday traditions I share with my children are based in part on those my mother shared with me, just as hers built upon the things my grandparents did when she was a kid.
Even apart from this generational evolution, there are always subtle differences, as tradition doesn’t necessarily mean simple rote behavior. Still, there are the core tenets, the unshakable aspects at the very heart of the experience.
For us, after the tree is lit and there are cookies in the oven, we settle in to watch our favorite holiday television specials. Chief among them is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Rankin/Bass stop motion classic that is very likely also an integral part of your own family’s annual celebration.
Rudolph was first broadcast on Sunday, December 6, 1964, making it the longest running (and highest rated) holiday special of all time. To celebrate this landmark 50th anniversary, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has released six new books that retell this cherished story.
For Rudolph’s youngest fans there are a pair of board-back toddler books, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Lift-the-Tab and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Slide and Find. These durable activity books are perfect for shared reading, and help reinforce skills from core literacy to fine motor control to number, color and object identification.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph Saves the Day is a paperback picture book that’s great for guided reading, and it even includes a fun sticker sheet. (I may or may not have claimed the Rudolph and Hermey sticker for myself.) Young readers looking to go it alone, however, will likely be more drawn to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: My Reader Level 2.
My oldest, who’s really gotten into comics of late, couldn’t resist Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Island of Misfit Toys, a full color middle-grade graphic novel that truly captures the excitement of the original story. For me, though, the true jewel was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Classic Story Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition. This hardbound edition is built to last, and I already foresee it becoming its own part of our annual holiday tradition.
Please help GeekDad (@GeekDads) and Macmillan (@mackidsbooks) celebrate Rudolph’s big 50th anniversary by sharing your own thoughts and traditions using the hashtag #Rudolph50 through the month of December via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or your social media platform of choice.
We’re also happy to announce that we’ll be giving away the entire collection of six Rudolph books to one lucky GeekDad reader. To enter, simply fill out the form below before 11:59 PM Eastern on Thursday, December 4.
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Open to US residents only.
One entry per physical address.
Must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen by random from all valid entries.
Winner will be notified via the email addresses supplied at time of entry.
Prizes are supplied by 3rd parties, and GeekDad.com cannot be held liable for items damaged or lost in shipping.
Review and promotional materials provided by: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group