We’re also spending a big family Christmas on the farm this year and it’s always a bit hectic when the whole family

comes together at once. Though not as big as yours, we’re still about 8 adults and 5 kids. What I’ve found out

and this suits me perfectly, is that the best time to sneak in some reading is when everyone is taking their afternoon naps.

I’ve never been one to sleep during the day because then I can’t sleep at night. Though for my parents it’s a Sunday afternoon ritual and of course the small children need to nap as well.

So after a big lunch when everyone is relaxed and heading off to their respective bedrooms, I find a nice comfy spot on a corner couch or even outside if it’s nice weather, and heave a sigh of  contentment as I open my book to finally continue where I last left off.


I have three kids under the age of 5, so it’s difficult to get reading time any time of the year. I usually squeeze it in once they’ve gone to bed at 8, when I relax in a nice bubble bath.


The holidays are the busiest time - and so often reading gets pushed to the wayside. It is especially hard when you are the only one in your family that is an avid reader.

What I do, is when we have movie time - I'll sit there, but I'll be engrossed in a book and not so very interested in the movie. But the best thing is to say I need to read - so do your own thing for a while - other wise it is just a bit too much family time - and well reading is all that keeps me sane.


You have to have a proper strategy with different options to achieve the coveted read-time you need... This is no time to be without a plan!

Option 1: read a few pages when you go to the loo! WARNING: piles may develop, so use this option only for a quick fix!

Option 2: play soccer with the cousins and get super dirty. Use it as an excuse for a bath and sneak you book in hidden under a towel. Works well if everyone else is occupied with a movie/shopping/sleeping!

Option 3: buy the kids a super cool PSP or computer game that will keep them glued for at least a few hours. Make sure the adults are occupied with assembling the kids' new toys or the new ipod or the new sound system or whatever. Then sit in the lounge with them, tune out the background noise and read your book while making friendly eye-contact every now and then to show that you're actually listening to the tales of all the aunts and grannies!

Option 4: if all else fails, renew your library return date and read on your way home in the car or airplane!

Best advice though, keep the best books for after the holidays!


The bathroom. That is the best place to sneak in some time to read without looking like a social leper.  Everybody has to go to the toilet and what better place to spend some alone-time than the little room.  My other favourite place is reading in the bath and in summer it is not a bother when the water gets cold.

You could always identify a partner in crime - a family member who also loves to read - and the two of you could sneak off to a coffee shop or find a quiet spot on the beach or the garden and with 30 rowdy family member, it would take some time before they miss two.

You could also tell the group of the family in the kitchen that you are doodling over to the group in the sitting room and the group in the sitting room that you are having a chat with the group in the garden and the group in the garden that you are going to play with the kids on the beach and then you sneak off with your book and hide where none of these groups will look for you. 

Sneaky but necessary for your own sanity. :)


As a mom to two busy and very demanding kids, I generally read at night once they’ve gone to bed and my hubby is working on his assignments. When the kids are up, I don’t stand a chance – they WILL climb up on my lap and take over my book, or just generally take it away from me and insist I go play with them.

I’ve also given up on using bookmarks as the kids – especially my two-year-old son – just tend to present them to me, sans the book, as though they were some fabulous gift. I’ve convinced myself that having to remember the page I’m on will do wonders for my memory.

But back to the subject at hand: I would imagine having to resort to the same tactic on big-family holiday – just go to bed early and take your book with you

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