One of our family’s favorite holiday traditions is also a fun way to countdown to Christmas.
What we do:
At the beginning of December, I gather together all of our Christmas books and wrap them up, numbering them 1-24. I place them in a basket in our living room, and we open one each evening in December and read it together as a family. We always read The Night Before Christmas on the 24th, and on Christmas morning, we read the Christmas story, as told in Luke 2.
You can do it, too!
Not enough Christmas books in your house? No problem, just wrap up however many you have, and count down that number of days. Or you can borrow some from the library (just make sure the library’s books are unwrapped before their due date!). We also supplement with books about winter or snow, or even Christmas or winter-themed DVDs.
I used to wrap the books in Christmas wrapping paper, but as you can see from the photos, now we just use newspaper. If you plan ahead, you can recycle the paper used to wrap your gifts this year to wrap count-down books next year.
What I love about this tradition:
1. We are sure to read each of our treasured Christmas books at least once each Christmas season.
2. The boys are almost crazy with the desire to open presents in December–this way, they get to open one each day.
3. The boys always know exactly how many days there are until Christmas.
4. It’s such a special way to spend time together as a family each evening during the busy rush of the Christmas season. It does this mama’s heart good to snuggle on the couch and watch and listen as my two older boys read to their younger brother.
Last year, I was looking for an advent calendar for my kids so that we could countdown to Christmas. What I quickly found out was that they are expensive…$20 or more! I refused to spend that much so I read about a Christmas countdown on another blog that used something I had a ton of… books!
The idea is to gift wrap 24 holiday books and number them 1-24. Then each night, unwrap one book, starting at #1 until you get to #24 which will be the last book on Christmas Eve. You can strategically order the books like I did so that “Twas the Night Before Christmas” ends up being book #24 since reading this book is also a tradition in our house on Christmas Eve.
My kids absolutely loved the book countdown and it brought so much excitement to our bedtime stories. Getting to unwrap a book each night was special and gave my kids something to look forward to each night. It was inexpensive, easy, and fun! It was also a great way to incorporate more reading into the holiday season!
For more information on the Hip2Save This Holiday series and to learn how you can participate in the fun, click here!