Looking for a fun and exciting way to count down the days until Christmas? There are lots of different advent calendars you can use at this wonderful time of the year but, if you’re looking for something more than a little chocolate behind a window, you might like to create your very own Christmas book advent calendar.
It’s easy to do and, when you make it yourself you get to choose to do it in a way that will suit your family.
The basic idea is to wrap up 24 or 25 Christmas books (you can choose whether you would like to open the last book on Christmas Eve or whether you’d like to include 25 books and open one on Christmas Day) and then unwrap one book each day in the countdown and enjoy family Christmas story time together.
Begin by hunting through your bookshelves and finding all of the Christmas books and picture books that you already have in your collection.
You might also like to include books that mention Christmas in them at some point or you might want to keep it to strictly books and stories about Christmas. Again this is where you can tailor it to suit your family’s needs – if you would like to include religious or biblical stories then go right ahead.
Choose books that suit the age range of your children although don’t be too fussy about this as even older children (tweens and teens) will enjoy reading Christmas picture books, especially if it’s stories they remember reading from when they were younger – it can be a great way to reminisce and create new family traditions.
It’s unlikely that you’ll have 24 (or 25) Christmas books already on your bookshelf but there are easy ways to add to your collection.
Start by asking friends and family – put out a call on Facebook. Many people will still have old children’s picture books on their shelves even though their children have grown up and moved away.
They’ll be happy to send some books your way and you’ll be helping them to declutter and make space – win-win!
Opportunity shops and thrift stores are also a great and inexpensive way to find more Christmas books – keep a lookout all year long and your collection will grow.
Of course, if you have the finances, you can always buy some new books to add to your Christmas book collection. Amazon is a quick and easy place to top up with books but keep an eye on your local book stores too – sometimes you’ll find a bargain!
We’ve included a list of some of our favorite Christmas books below so, if you’re stuck for ideas, check it out.
Best Christmas Books
Let’s start by saying that this list is just a tiny sample of some of our favorite Christmas books – there would be far too many to include them all here!
How To Make A Christmas Book Advent Calendar
Once you’ve collected your 24 (or 25) books the rest is pretty simple to do.
Firstly decide how your family would like to use your new book advent calendar.
Would you like to take turns to choose a wrapped book randomly from the pile of books you’ve created? Or, would you rather number each book from 1 to 24 (or 25) so that you can count down the days as you go?
Choose Books Randomly
Choosing books randomly can be fun especially for little children. Have the children take turns each day/night to select a parcel and be the one who gets to unwrap it – it feels a bit like Christmas!
While the books aren’t numbered so you won’t get that numerical reminder of how many days are left until Christmas, this method still gives you a visual representation of how long there is to go – you’ll feel the excitement building as the pile of books gets smaller each day.
Numbering the Books
Some people prefer to number the books to really see the numbers getting smaller. Numbering the books also gives you control as to which book is opened first and last – lots of families like to make sure they get to read “The Night Before Christmas” on the night before Christmas!
If you’d like to read a particular book on Christmas Eve then this is the better way for you to make sure it happens. Decide if you’re going to count down through the numbers (usually the best way) or count up (sometimes easier as you just need to know the date to know what number book you are up to – read book 1 on December 1st etc.).
There’s no right or wrong for these methods, it’s totally up to you and what’s going to work best for your family – that’s the beauty of creating your own book advent calendar – you get to do it your way!
Once you’ve figured out which method you’ll be using, simply wrap each book in some festive wrapping paper.
Stick numbers on each book (if choosing the numbered method) and put them all in a handy place ready to start your new family Christmas tradition.
You can choose any time of day to unwrap and read your Christmas stories but our favorite time is right before bed.
Everyone is snuggly and warm in their Christmas PJ’s, the Christmas tree lights are twinkling and it’s the perfect time to mark off that one more day has passed on the lead up to the most exciting day of the year.
We hope we’ve inspired you to start a new family Christmas tradition!
Let us know if you decide to make your own Christmas book advent calendar – we’d love to see some pictures if you do!