Our family has many holiday traditions. However, one of the most beloved traditions is a Christmas book-themed countdown to Christmas (I suppose you might call it a book advent calendar activity for kids). I know this is not a new idea, but I was first introduced to it last year by one of my friends, who started this tradition when her kids were young.
I think it is a brilliant idea!
So, over the course of the first year we started the tradition, I set out to gather 25+ Christmas books. If you are thinking about doing this and the idea of buying this many books seems daunting to you, don’t worry. There are many cheaper alternatives to buying new, hardcover books on Amazon or the book store. I picked up at least half of the books we read in garage and consignment sales. Additionally, bargain stores like Ollie’s often sell Children’s books at deep discount.
25 Days of Christmas Books: Activity for Kids
Over Thanksgiving weekend (aka- when you can officially start listening to Christmas music without scorn), Sweet Pea and I set up a special Christmas tree down the hall from her bedroom. We used a cheap 3-ft tree that I had purchased many years ago. For decorations, we use a mix of cheapie dollar store ornaments and ornaments we make together. My hope is that as Sweet Pea ages, the tree will be wholly decorated with hand made crafts for kids we have done together.
After the tree was decorated, I wrapped each of the books except the last one. The last book, which will coincide with Christmas Eve, will of course be The Night Before Christmas. There is no mystery there, so I didn’t wrap that book.
Again, if the idea of wrapping 24 or 25 books seems like a lot of effort for you, may I suggest that your wrapping job does not necessarily have to be top notch? If I didn’t cover the entire book with wrapping paper, or my corners weren’t tight, I didn’t stress about it. I reasoned that Sweet Pea would not care and you know what? I was correct!
It took all of 1 day for Sweet Pea to understand the game and now, every night before bed, she asks to unwrap another book. How cool is that? Considering that the notion of wrapped gifts is still a new concept for her, I think this tradition has the added benefit of 25 days of fine motor skill activities. Ok, maybe that is a stretch. However, it is fun to see how Sweet Pea approaches the task of unwrapping each book.
Here is the other thing. There are so many fantastic Christmas books for kids. There is no way you can read all of them (ok, maybe you can try… but if you are only reading one book a day, you would have to start at the 4th of July to accomplish this task). My strategy is that I made sure we included a copy of the classics, and then I added a number of age appropriate books and then a number of top-rated selections. As Sweet Pea outgrows the simpler books, I will replace them with more of the modern classics. I would love to review all of the books we picked, but since this is our first year to start this tradition, I will simply share with you our 25 choices. So, here it is:
25 Days of Christmas Books!
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- The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving, by Jan Berenstain
5. The Polar Express, by
So, this is our list. What books are on your Christmas must-read list?
Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!