We’re starting a new tradition this year and it’s one that I’m SO excited about: Christmas Book Advent. We always read Christmas books this time of year, so that’s nothing new. In fact, here’s last year’s post on some of our favorite Christmas books. Over the year, I’ve added to our Christmas book collection. So, this year, I’m wrapping them up & we’re opening one each day!The idea is inspired by the fabulous Alison over at Oopsey Daisy! When I saw her book advent posts last year, I knew it was something I wanted to start! I absolutely love her idea of doing some sort of activity related to the book each day. Not sure that I’ll be quite as on the ball as she is, but I already have some activities planned!
Here’s our list:
- Snowbear’s Christmas Countdown
- Wombat Divine
- The Polar Express
- Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree
- Santa’s Little Helper
- Snowmen at Night
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas
- Mortimer’s Christmas Manger
- The Mitten 20th Anniversary Edition
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
- Reindeer Christmas (Paula Wiseman Books)
- Snowmen at Christmas
- The Christmas Star
- Humphrey’s First Christmas
- Froggy’s Best Christmas
- Frosty the Snowman
- Merry Christmas, Curious George
- The Little Drummer Mouse
- If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
- What Is Christmas?
- A Charlie Brown Christmas (Running Press Miniatures)
- ???? We need one more book! I want something about gingerbread men or houses or something. Any ideas?
- The Night Before Christmas
So far, the plan is to make “snow paint” snowmen for Snowmen at Night. I’m also planning a Christmas tree, star, reindeer, and nativity crafts to go with some of the books. For a couple others (like The Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!), I have those planned on weekends so we can read the book and then have a family movie night! 🙂 And, given my love of wombats (yes, really), we’ll hang our wombat ornament after reading Wombat Divine. And, yes, we really have a wombat ornament. 🙂 We bought it on our trip to Australia and I LOVE it! See?!After gathering up all my books, I decided to number them. Some are totally just randomly put in, others I knew I wanted to read on specific days. Like, I wanted to start with Snowbear’s Christmas Countdownand talk about how we are doing a Christmas countdown too. And, it’s been a tradition since Big Brother’s first Christmas that we read Twas The Night Before Christmas, so I knew that would be last. Then, I wanted to mix up some of the more religious ones and more Santa-themed ones to have a nice mix. I like having them numbered and listed out too, so that way if I want to switch days, it’s easy to do so! 🙂 Where to get 24 Christmas Books (aside from tradition in-store/on-line retailers)?
I started building a collection over time. This will be Big Brother’s 5th Christmas and so we’ve been collecting a couple books a year the past 5 Christmas seasons. If you don’t have the time/money to invest on it this year, you could always do a 5 days of Christmas or 12 Days of Christmas book advent.
1. Thrift Stores! Last weekend I hit up a used bookstore by our house and came home with 9 books for just over $27 with tax! So, at an average cost of just $3/book for nice, hardback titles like The Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, I thought it was a great deal!
2. eBay. As I alluded to in the Cyber Monday post, I also purchased a few books on eBay to add to the collection. 🙂 If you find the right auction or Buy It Now price, you can score some REALLY sweet deals!
3. Scholastic Book Orders. If you have kiddos in school (even at some preschools) or know an elementary school teacher, you should be able to get in on a Scholastic Book Order. These were one of my favorite things in elementary school and I was practically giddy when Big Brother came home from preschool with one! 🙂
4. Library. I still don’t have a full 24 book collection that’s ours to keep. Just this morning, we hit up the library to check out Christmas books. Our library only lets you check out 5 holiday books at a time, but they aren’t due back until the 20th. So, that’s good for us.
Now, I can’t wait for December 1st to get everything started! 🙂
Do you have any special traditions involving Christmas books? What books are your favorite?
Linked to: *Lil’ Luna, *Show & Tell, *Sundae Scoop
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I just love this idea…thanks for sharing…gonna go look around for my pile of Christmas books collected over the last few years !! Wonderful idea !! <3
I love this idea, Sara! Since it’s only our little ones first Christmas, we have just started to collect books. But, I hope this is something that we can do in the future. So neat! I’m sure your boys will love it!
Thanks!! It was so much fun to see my picture book HUMPHREY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS included on your list of Christmas Books for Advent!!! There is a page for Humphrey up on my web site and the new book trailer has just been released. You can check it out here: http://www.carolheyer.com/humphreys-page.html
I do this with my son. I actually wrap all the books each year and write the number on each one. This helps me to “hold him off” on Christmas book overload. (And when the Christmas season is offically over 2 weeks after Christmas they all get boxed back up and put down stairs so that we keep them special for the Christmas and Advent season.)
I have a few suggestions: I have a book called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (after the song of course) that I always put on the 12th (which is not technically correct but I’ll wait until he’s older for that). I put the Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear right before a day when we are planning our Santa Mall visit. Mercer Mayer’s “Merry Christmas Mom and Dad”.
Many of our books are books saved from mine and my husbands childhood. We called grandmas and aunts when we were putting our collection together. We barely had 24 books the first year… a few were dollar store board books. We’ve accumulated a few extra over the last couple of years and have a little more variation now.
The other thing I do is a buy 1 new book every year for my son to open up on Christmas day. I try to pick a book that might be especially appropriate that year based on his interests (the year he was big on snowmen we got snowmen at night, he’s getting Otis Christmas book this year cause he loves tractors, I’m saving Polar Express until he’s a little older). But inside the front of the new book I write a letter to him about how he’s grown and changed in the past year. I’m not good at this memory making stuff, but when I looking back through all the books I loved as a child and it brings out the sappy in me and I feel more free to reminisce than normal.
Good luck with this tradition. I hope your LO loves it!