A family tradition-book countdown to Christmas, is a great way to spend time together and create special memories.
What Is A Christmas Book Countdown?
A Christmas book countdown is when you wrap 24 days of Christmas books individually and starting on December 1st, open one each day until Christmas Eve. The next day would obviously then be Christmas morning. There is lots of room for a variety of books and ways to open and read them. It’s relatively simple, easy and kids love it.
How This Family Tradition Started
Years ago, when my two youngest kids were little, I wandered what meaningful tradition we could start with our own family at Christmas time. I did a bit of research and found the idea of a book countdown to Christmas.
I started this idea for the first time about 10 years ago and my kids loved it. Now two more kids later, the book countdown to Christmas is still going strong and is definitely a fun tradition the whole family enjoys.
Benefits Of A Christmas Book Countdown
There are many great benefits for you and your children. If you or your children are a book lover, this is a great way to read together.
This time of year can be a bit hectic so I found this helped me take some time in the evenings during the craziness of the holiday season to spend with my kids.
Advent calendars have become very popular, but they weren’t as much 10 years ago. The box of Christmas books was a great way to show my kids visually how many days there were left until Christmas Day. If they could count, then they enjoyed counting the amount of books left to open.
The last reason I wanted to mention, is that this book countdown helped our family focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
- 24 Books
- Wrapping paper or
- 24 paper or cloth bags
- Tape and scissors
- Box, crate or basket
Tips For Setting Up The Book Countdown
Start searching for 24 Christmas or winter themed books, throughout the whole year, especially while shopping at yard sales or thrift shops.
A board book or a picture book is going to be perfect for younger children. Even my older kids enjoy still listening in on these. As my children got a little older, I switched from easy, short story books to longer picture books.
If you wish to focus more on a Christmas theme, there are lots to choose from, depending on what your favourite Christmas traditions around the holiday are.
I should also mention that after the Christmas season is over, I pack the Christmas books away for the year, so that they are new and fresh the next year. The kids really look forward to seeing the books again after 12 months!
Where To Find Christmas Books
When I first started this book countdown, I owned very little Christmas themed books. I was on a budget and wasn’t able to buy 24 brand new Christmas books.
I shopped at the thrift stores, local library sales and garage sales for used books and was able to find quite a few. At first I added winter themed book as well cause my collection was a little small.
Over the years, I have slowly bought one or two new books every year, so now I have quite a great collection of themed books about the Christmas season.
If buying books isn’t an option, try borrowing books from a local library or maybe a family member whose kids are grown up. Maybe your grandparents have a special Christmas book that you used to read as a child.
Favourite Christmas Books
There are lots of great new Christmas books to read. It’s a good idea to get some books with themes or characters that your kids will enjoy reading. For the kid that loves farming or trucks, look for Christmas books around that theme.
For example my kids like the Berenstain Bears, so I bought several new books that are Christmas themed ones. If your kids like the polar express or the grinch stole Christmas theme, pick up one of those books.
Great Christmas Book Recommendations
Here are some of my favourites from our Christmas book collection. Some I have purchased new and many I’ve found at thrift shops and yard sales.
Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado https://amzn.to/3jMKpXt
God Gave us Christmas by Lisa Bergen https://amzn.to/3YkHR23
The Berenstain Bears and The Joy of Giving by Mike Berenstain https://amzn.to/3Id8U9Q
Sadie and the Snowman by Allan Morgan https://amzn.to/3xcouMn
The Little Shepherd’s Christmas by Carol Heyer https://amzn.to/3JXgNBq
Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller https://amzn.to/3YnU7yI
The Story of Christmas by Patricia Pingry https://amzn.to/3XlfyPx
Home for Christmas by Jan Brett https://amzn.to/3YFqnNl
Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett https://amzn.to/3ltDqmZ
The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel by Mike Berenstain https://amzn.to/3YLb6e9
The Winter Wish by Rosie Reeve https://amzn.to/3HJxrBS
When To Get The Books Ready
It’s nice to get all the books wrapped by the end of November, so that you are all ready to start the book countdown on December 1st. Believe me, I’ve been scrambling on the last evening of November, counting to make sure I had enough books, madly wrapping books and wandering what I was thinking starting this tradition:)
Setting Up The Book Countdown
After gathering all 24 of your Christmas books, the next step is to wrap each individual book in Christmas wrapping paper. It sound like a lot of work but if you set yourself up with some Christmas music and hot cocoa, it really won’t take that long.
I like to pick up a couple different patterns of paper to use and then wrap each book, alternating Christmas paper.
If you want to go an easier, quicker route, you could pop each book into a paper bag and add a cute Christmas sticker onto the closed flap.
Another ideas would be to put each book in a reusable cloth Christmas bag.
I don’t label each book with the days of December but instead let the kids each take turns picking the book package they want to open that evening. It’s a fun surprise which book will be opened and read.
Unique Ways To Display The Christmas Books
I have cute a wooden Christmas crate that I use every year to display all the wrapped books. This sits next to the Christmas tree, where it’s easy to see and remember to open each day.
A pretty box or special basket would also look very nice to set all the books in.
Fun Ways To Enjoy The Book Countdown
We like to open our daily Christmas book after the kids are in their pyjamas and ready for their bedtime story at the end of the day. They have so much fun taking turns and unwrapping one book each night. We then cuddle on the couch close to the Christmas tree in the living room and read the book together. Even the older kids like to join in and listen to the story
Make the experience of this fun family tradition work best for you and your family members. Maybe it’s around cups of hot chocolate or at lunch time, it’s really whatever works best for you.
If it’s a busy day or evening, and there’s no time to open a book, just open two the next day.
Remember it’s all about making this a fun family tradition, spending time together and creating special memories together.
Family Tradition- Book Countdown To Christmas
I hope that I have inspired you to give this fun family Christmas tradition a try. I know that it has created fond family memories over the years at Christmas with my kids and I hope that it will do the same for you.
Go gather some favourite books and set up your own family Christmas tradition.
Have a wonderful week and Merry Christmas!