I love creating Christmas traditions! To me, doing special things with my children is what makes the season complete. One of my favorite traditions that we started last year is the Christmas Book Advent. You see, I’ve always loved the whole advent thing. As a kid, my mom would always buy me one of those punch-out advent calendars that had a little treat behind each door. We also had a little calendar where you moved the mouse from day to day. But I’d always heard about family advent traditions. I hope someday to be able to do something Christmasy each day of the month (meaning an activity) but for now, while my kids are small, we’ll stick to the basics. But I’m getting off track here. The book advent…
If you love reading as much as I do then you look forward to getting out all of your Christmas books each year. I quickly realized upon having children that my Dickens and Moore were a bit over my toddler’s head. So we had to create a new collection of books. Here is what we have so far.
As for the advent, what we started doing last year is we wrap up all of our Christmas books on the last day of November and they appear under the tree on December 1. We also include a new blanket and bookmark. The blanket is to cuddle up with and the bookmark is because we don’t actually have 24 books- however some of the books are compilations of stories, so we have more than enough!
Each night after dinner and bathtime, my children get to pick a “present” from under the tree. They have so much fun unwrapping it (this year Trinity is getting her practice before the big morning!). Then we cuddle up under the blanket and read a Christmas story together. With the compilation books, we read one story from them then mark the book with the new bookmark. Then the next night, instead of opening a new book, we just leave off where we were the night before. Eventually, I hope to have a book for each of the 24 days but until then, this system works! Another wonderful thing that I have personally found this year that I love for my family is that doing this advent has created a lot of opportunities to talk to my kids about the true meaning of Christmas. You have full control over what books get included and I know mine will change as the kids get older as well.
The stories that we have so far that we love are:
Santa Mouse Stories (the original Santa Mouse story that I remember as a kid then 2 more to go along with it) The Nutcracker The Little Fir-Tree The Snow Queen Mickey’s Christmas Carol I’ve Seen Santa! Careful, Santa! Bless You, Santa! The Gift of Christmas The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish Santa is Coming to Florida Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Little Blue Truck’s Christmas The Story of Christmas The Wishing Star Jingle Bells The Magic Toy Shop The Littlest Angel Santa Clause is Coming to Town The Elves and the Shoemaker The Little Drummer Boy Santa’s Christmas Gift (this is one of my favorites! A great way to combine Santa with the birth of Jesus) Twas the Night Before Christmas (We have an awesome pop-up book version. This book doesn’t get wrapped. It goes in the Christmas Eve box.)
If you’re looking to start a Christmas tradition with your kids PLUS help them develop a love for reading, then THIS is the tradition to follow!
Merry Christmas everyone!