One of our favorite traditions is a Christmas Book Advent Calendar. It’s simple, fun, affordable and purposeful. What’s not to love?!
This is a fun tradition as children get to tear open the wrapping paper every day leading up to Christmas. They get to release some of the anticipations around gift-receiving.
It also provides some fun, cozy time as a family each day. And it distracts your preschool-age child from asking 20 times a day, “Is today Christmas?”
This tradition is also affordable: you can just start with a few books and build your family Christmas book library each year. You can grab cheap wrapping paper and tape for $1 at the Dollar Store.
Last, this tradition is purposeful: you’re building your child’s literacy skills and love of reading while It’s also purposeful as it combines quality time with literacy-building skills.
Check out how to create a Christmas Book Advent Calendar, grab some free printable tags, and check out my family’s favorite Christmas books.
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Christmas Book Advent Calendar
The idea is pretty simple:
- Get some Christmas or winter holiday books.
- Wrap them.
- Label them with the date in December.
- Open one and read each day leading up to Christmas.
Step 1: Get Some Christmas Books
Here’s some quick ideas for where to get some Christmas books.
- look around for books you already have
- visit a thrift store
- use the library’s Christmas books (bonus – clutter-free, drawback – stock is possibly low leading up to Christmas)
- order online – Amazon has a Buy 2, Get 1 Free Promotion right now!
Christmas Books with Classic Characters
- Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? by Tomie dePaola
- Merry Christmas, from Biscuit
- The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear by Stan & Jan Berenstain
- Corduroy’s Christmas Surprise
- The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan & Mike Berenstain
Christmas Books with Favorite Characters
- Tacky’s Christmas
- Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean
- Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by James Dean and Kimberly Dean
- Froggy’s Best Christmas by Jonathan London
- Merry Christmas, Splat
Classic Christmas Picture Books
- The Gingerbread Man
- The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
- The Nutcracker (Little Golden Book)
- Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- The Night Before Christmas
More Favorite Children’s Christmas Books
- Snowmen at Night
- Snowmen at Christmas
- Arthur’s Christmas
- Olive, the Other Reindeer
- Merry Christmas, Curious George
Christmas Board Books
- Clifford’s First Christmas
- Llama Llama, Jingle Bells
- Where is Baby’s Christmas Present?
- Snowflake Day! (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood)
- Five Christmas Penguins
Religious Christmas Books
- The Stable Where Jesus Was Born
- The First Night
- The Christmas Story by Carol Heyer
- The Christmas Shepherds
Some great religious Christmas board books for babies and toddlers (and enthusiastic preschoolers):
Step 2: Wrap the Christmas Books
Once you’ve gathered a collection of books, grab some cheap wrapping paper and scotch tape. Print out the free printable labels for the days of December 1 – December 24.
Step 3: Label the Books with the days of December
Cut out the dates and affix each one to a book for your Christmas Book Advent Calendar.
You don’t need to do 24 books. You plan to start on December 17? Cut off and recycle the rest of the dates.
Step 4: Read one book a day!
This is the best part. Let your children rip open the wrapping paper and discover a new (or old favorite) book. This can be a cozy first thing in the morning routine, or it can be your child’s bedtime story for the month of December.
Christmas Book Advent Calendar
Try out this family tradition and enjoy memories of a purposeful, inexpensive family activity for years to come!