Christmas Book Advent: My new favorite Christmas tradition

I’m a fairly very structured person who thrives on routine and schedules, so naturally I love all the Christmas traditions that are the same from year to year. In fact sharing my favorite childhood Christmas traditions with Charlotte is one of my favorite parts of motherhood. But I have added this new tradition to our family, one that is a perfect fit for me and my book loving daughter (baby number two doesn’t really have a chance not to like books either). I started it last year and I’m sure it will continue to be a huge hit as the years go by. I call it a book advent. I’m sure it’s not that new of an idea – wrap 25 Christmas themed books up and let your child open one a day until Christmas. Of course C wanted to open them all right away, but after I explained the concept (about one thousand times) she seemed to understand. We open the book each night before she gets ready for bed, which is a nice way to transition from playtime to bath and is a convenient bribe too (you have to pick up your toys before you get to open your book tonight :)).

 I love having presents under the tree, so this is a great way to make that happen before there are any actual presents to put there. Don’t they look pretty and festive? I absolutely adore this paper I found at Hobby Lobby (Baby Girl picked out the snowflake pattern, and I must say she has great taste :)). Side note: I highly recommend that you buy your Christmas wrapping paper at HL. Not only is it 40% off starting in late November, but it’s very high quality and even has guidelines on the back that make wrapping a cinch. My hubby helped by cutting the paper while I wrapped the books and added the numbers, so even though it was a big job it only took about an hour. I fell in love with these number tags I found on Pinterest. You can download them here
As for the books themselves, I started with the Christmas books I’d saved from my own childhood and my classroom library when I was teaching, and then filled in with Sam’s Club bargains and Amazon’s cheap used books. I will probably change some of them out as she gets older, but I think this is a good collection to start with. 
1. The Christmas Story by Jane Werner-Watson
2. The Animals’ Christmas Eve by Gale Wiersum
5. God Gave us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
6. If you Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff (don’t let the title fool you, it’s Christmasy)
7. Toot and Puddle: Let it Snow by Holly Hobbie
8. Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown 
9. Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
10. The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry (a scratch and sniff book from my childhood)
11. Froggy’s Best Christmas by Jonathan London 
12. Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (a picture book excerpt from Little House in the Big Woods)
13. Bob the Reindeer by Sandra Boynton
14. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (not exactly a Christmas book, but it always makes me think of Christmas anyway)
15. A Christmas Carol: A Babylit Color’s Primer by Jennifer Adams (we’ll switch this one for the real one eventually)
16. Clubhouse Christmas by Susan Amerikaner (because we had to sneak some Mickey Mouse in somewhere)
17. Corduroy’s Christmas by Don Freeman
18. The Shepherd’s Christmas Story by Dandi Daley Mackall
20. God Bless our Christmas by Hannah Hall (we were so privileged to have Hannah come speak at our MOPS group!)
21. Merry Christmas Splat! by Rob Scotton
22. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor
23. Bear Stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
24. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (there are so many great versions of this, I have an old one from my childhood)
25. One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham (this is a beautiful book that takes you from Creation through God’s plan of salvation. Definitely one for little ones to grow into, it’s long)
I have more secular books than Christian themed ones right now, but hopefully I can get a few more that have a Christ-centered message. The great part of this tradition is that once you have your collection you can just pack them away after Christmas and bring them out again next year (with a few changes if you want). 
What is your favorite Christmas advent tradition? Have you decorated for the season yet? We spent last weekend decorating (in C’s words, “We put Christmas all over our house!). I will try to post some pictures for you by the end of the week, but I had several comments on my book advent Instagram so I thought I’d get this post up first. I hope you are a little inspired to find some great Christmas books to share with your little ones.

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