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I LOVE Christmas! I know some moms begrudgingly go through the motions but I genuinely love the season and doing all the fun activities. One of the fun activities we enjoy is counting down to Christmas. I’ve written before about advent calendars. We have a Melissa and Doug magnetic advent calendar that we love but we also started another countdown tradition that combines my love of presents with my love of books. I really like focusing on the “waiting” part of advent with the kids because it’s the first real exposure to the anticipation we feel as we await the arrival of Christ during the season.
Each year I give the kids a new Christmas book. We love these so much and I keep most put away during the rest of the year which makes them feel even more special when we finally bring them out. Between the books I’ve bought them, gifts from friends, and some of mine from when I was a kid we’ve gathered quite a collection of Christmas books.
Last year I started wrapping them and placing them under the tree. Each night we open a Christmas book to read together. I number them so we know which one to pick each day. I make the new book for the year second to last and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” is last on Christmas Eve. This is particularly special since it’s the same one my mother read to me as a child. We have a good mix of secular and religious books. There are enough holiday themed books out there that you could do all religious or all secular if you prefer.
I find this helps with the begging to open presents early since they know they get to open a book each night. I picked up quite a few during after Christmas sales when they were 75-90% off so it doesn’t have to be super expensive! I also just add to the collection slowly now with one book per year. This year’s book is Eric Carle’s Dream Snow. The last page lights up and it is just so beautifully illustrated.
If you like the idea of a book Advent Calendar but aren’t sure where to start, here are some of my favorite Christmas books: