Our family has always liked to keep a stash of Christmas books in a basket on the hearth to read with our little ones during the holidays. However, it wasn’t until I spotted this book-a-day Christmas Countdown on Pinterest that I ever thought to wrap them up and make an advent activity out of reading together.
I love that idea! And since we’ve been raising children (and collecting children’s books) for almost 25 years now, we have plenty of titles to choose from. In fact, I’ll probably wrap two or three of the shorter ones together, so nobody gets shortchanged on cuddle time when they unwrap their selections.
And I’ll attach these Christmas Countdown Gift Tags to the wrapped books to differentiate them from the other gifts under the tree. Wouldn’t want any of those to be unwrapped too early!
And for day 25, I’ll wrap a copy of the Bible, so my husband can read Luke 2 aloud before the family opens gifts on Christmas morning, just like my own father always did when I was growing up.
There are also several chapter books that we like to read this time of year, such as A Christmas Carol, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and our own Glad Tidings, but since they don’t fit into the “picture book” category and it usually take us a few days to get through them, I won’t wrap those for the basket, but will keep them in the drawer by my reading chair until we’re ready for them.
Here are the books I’m using in our Book-a-Day Christmas Countdown:
- Good King Wenceslas by John M. Neale
- Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheoun
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!by Dr. Seuss
- ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
- The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Hilary Knight
- The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
- Away in a Manger illustrated by Thomas Kinkade
- The Visit: The Origin of the Night Before Christmas by Mark Kimball Moulton
- A Small Christmasby Wong Herbert Yee
- I Spy Christmas: A Book of Picture Riddles by Jean Marzallo
- Carl’s Christmas by Alexandra Day
- Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
- This is the Star by Joyce Dunbar
- What Can I Give Him? by Christina Rossetti
- Who Is Coming to Our House?Joseph Slate
- The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats
- Night Tree by Eve Bunting
- O Holy Night illustrated by Faith Ringgold
- This Is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May
- The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden
- If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
- A Wish for Wings That Work by Berkeley Breathed
- Silent Night by Joseph Mohr
I know there are lots of great Christmas books out there — these are just a few of our family’s favorites. What books will you be sharing with your children this year? Do you have favorites I’ve forgotten? Tell us about them, as we’re always open to adding more!
Incidentally, if you’re looking for a great way to focus your heart on Christ during this advent season, I’d love for you to check out my new devotional journal, Joy to the World. It will help you do exactly that.
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