I love to read.
So, I guess it won’t come as a surprise to you when I tell you that books have always had a place as part of my holiday celebration.
In my home, reading holiday books is as much a part of preparing for Christmas as leaving cookies for Santa or trimming the tree. Every November, the stack of holiday picture books packed away with the rest of the holiday trimmings, makes its way downstairs.
A great tradition I am sharing with you today is to create a more formal celebration of holiday books by making them into an Advent calendar. Wrap up 25 holiday books to stack by the fireplace or a cozy couch and have the children open one to read each evening during Advent.
The books don’t need to be about the holidays in the literal sense. You can choose stories of love, family, friendship, travel…or, even cooking –all appropriate themes relating to the holiday season. There are so many great books – you don’t need to limit yourself to How the Grinch Stole Christmas or ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. If you need some suggestions, here are a few titles we have enjoyed to get you started:
Santa Calls by William Joyce
Christmas in New York City by Roxie Munroe
The Finest Tree by John and Anne Hassett
Penquin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Tree that Came to Stay by Anna Quindlen
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Be sure to include some titles with beautiful illustrations:
Old Turtle by Douglas Wood
Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki and Ivan Gantscher
Simon and the Snowflakes by Gilles Tibo
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Also, it is fun to include titles that promote activities:
I Spy Christmas by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo
Snowmen by Peter Cole, Frankie Frankeny, Leslie Jonath
Recipe for Adventure Series by Giada deLaurentiis and Francesca Gambatesa
Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving by Jessica Strand
When wrapping the books, you can choose a color theme to match your décor, holiday theme, or favorite color of the child(ren). I used kraft paper this year to wrap the books and added stickers I personalized with ‘book a day advent’ at Tiny Prints (click here for the website). Their stickers are great – so many cute designs to choose from, they can be personalized as you wish, and a set is very inexpensive. I added numbers to my personalized stickers using rubber stamps and added one to each wrapped book.
When adding the numbers, be conscious that you can be strategic by coordinating number placement with book selection. Number an activity book for the weekend, time a relative’s visit with an appropriate theme/title, or read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas on the appropriate evening.
You can use books you already own and/or library books for this activity…no need for it to be an expensive project! Your local children’s librarian can help with your title selection if you need it. And, if you own the books, when opening your gifts this year, use the discarded wrapping paper to wrap up the books for next year’s book calendar!
I hope you are inspired to create a book Advent calendar this year! Have fun with it! I would love to hear your favorite titles! The children will love this activity – and, what better tradition than one that promotes a love for reading? :)
Thanks for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie