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Create a Christmas Book Advent Calendar

Have you ever heard of a Christmas book Advent calendar? It’s so simple and yet so fun. And best of all, it’s the perfect way to incorporate read-aloud time into your family’s holiday traditions.

Here’s How It Works

With a Christmas book Advent calendar, instead of a toy or a piece of candy, your child opens a Christmas picture book every day. It’s like a chocolate Advent calendar … only better!

Stack of picture books with hot cocoa

Gather Your Books

First, gather enough books so that you’ll have one for every day of Advent. You can use my library list to gather books from the library, or you can use this holiday activity as an excuse to build up your own library of beautiful Christmas books!

So how many books will you need?

The traditional Advent calendar begins on the Sunday nearest the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30) and continues through four Sundays, ending on December 24. This year Advent begins on Sunday, December 1, so that means you’ll need 24 books.

Wrap Your Books

Wrap enough Christmas books for every day of Advent and add a numbered tag to each one. Create your own tags or download our Printable Advent Tags and choose a set to print and attach to your wrapped picture books.


download printable advent tags now

Display Your Books

Now it’s time to display your Christmas book Advent calendar.

wrapped books for advent calendar

Put the books under the Christmas tree, on a shelf, or in a basket. You might even want to keep them hidden so that your kids will have to hunt for them.

wrapped books in a basket for book advent calendar

How you display them is up to you. Be creative and make it fun!

wrapped books with book advent calendar tags

Countdown to Christmas with Picture Books!

Now comes the fun part. On each day during Advent, have your children open one of the wrapped books for your family to read together. The “togetherness” is part of the joy of this engaging holiday activity.

little boy unwraps picture book for book advent calendar girl opens a picture book for book advent calendar

Perhaps this is the year you’ll start a new reading tradition in your household. Grab a cup of cocoa, a warm, snuggly blanket, and some kids, and get started with some beautiful Christmas books!

girl reads her advent calendar book

Looking for Christmas Picture Books?

Favorite-Christmas-books

If you’d like to create your own picture book Advent calendar but need some picture book inspiration, here are some of my favorite picture books for Christmas.

Click to download a checklist of my favorites to take to your local library.

Does your family have any favorite holiday book traditions? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Holiday Book Traditions Shared by Our Readers

  • Use a mix of books and movies! – shared by Angela
  • Go outdoors to read your books every day. – shared by Cheryl
  • Read The Advent Book by Jack and Kathy Stockman. – shared by Danielle
  • Wrap a new book for each child to deposit on their beds after they fall asleep on Christmas Eve. – shared by Heather
  • Keep a collection of Christmas books that stay in a special basket during Advent. – shared by Danielle
  • Re-wrap Advent picture books before they get stored for the next year! – shared by Beth
  • Just leave unwrapped books under the tree for the kids to choose for anytime reading. – shared by Kelsy
  • Keep a basket of Christmas books under the tree to read aloud during the Christmas season. – shared by Jessica L.
  • Every Christmas our family reads each night from the Jesus Storybook Bible. As soon as dinner is over, we read a chapter and put a corresponding ornament on a little tree. – shared by Annette
  • Start a “12 Days of Christmas” tradition with a different theme for each day. Have books to read, crafts to create, and movies or special foods to enjoy. – shared by Meggen L.
  • Light the advent wreath’s candle and read a Christmas book. – shared by Elizabeth
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Leave a Comment

Merly Miller

says:

Can you recommend a Nutcracker book for ann8 year old?

Angie B

says:

I love love love this idea! We have a variety of advent activities, but this is a wonderful addition. Thank you!

sus

says:

So much better than candy.

Heather H

says:

We do this at our house and it’s something my kids look forward to every year!

Momm

says:

This looks like such fun idea! I love the advent tags!

Helena

says:

This is a fun idea and our kids Love books! Our oldest daughter is doing AAR level 1 as an emergent reader and she’s excited to learn to read on her own, but also loves read aloud time!

Jacklyn Byrne

says:

Excited to try this idea with my children!

Ashley Smith

says:

Our family has fallen in love with Jothams Journey, a children’s Advent reading adventure that leads to his recognition of his need for a Savior and his witness of the Savior’s birth in Bethlehem. My kids would be begging to read more each night.

Julie

says:

Love this idea~~

Jessica

says:

Great idea!

Kelly

says:

Great idea! Love the reading theme!

Caitriona McGlynn

says:

We love this blog..all of it but crafting is out favorite. Advent calendars are an exciting part of Christmas, for us. Thanks for helping us with your fresh ideas.

Anna Simon

says:

I have been a fan of this curriculum for a few years now… ever since I first heard about it while homeschooling my oldest. Thank you, also, for making these fun bonding activities that just happen to support literacy connections at home!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Awww, you are so welcome, Anna! Enjoy!

Aletia Mitchell

says:

I love this idea!!! Also, thank you for the book list :)

Laura W

says:

Our family has done this Advent book in the past and really enjoyed it! We also included a few Christmas movies to change the evening up sometimes.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I do like the idea of including a few Christmas movies mixed in with the books for each day, Laura! Thanks for sharing it.

Judith Martinez

says:

I love this idea so much but I’ve been too intimidated to try it. Storing that many additional books is daunting and I keep forgetting to hit the library before December starts. I should buy a few Christmas books to replace the ones that were destroyed in a previous move. We currently don’t have any. I’m inspired to head over to the used book store near our home and see if I can find a few inexpensive Christmas books to enjoy.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Judith,
It can be intimidating to do a full 24 days of books when you are starting from scratch, but you can start with just a week’s worth and do a short countdown to begin with. Also, some families like to intermix Christmas movies and crafts on some days instead of books. There are lots of ways to make it work!

Laura Sciacca

says:

Very excited to start this new tradition with my kids! Books are wrapped and ready to go! Thank you for a great Christmas book list!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’d love to hear how it goes, Laura!

Laura Sciacca

says:

Kicked it off last night with “An Otis Christmas.” They can’t wait for book number 2! Thanks for a great book list!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome! “An Otis Christmas” is such a fun start too.

Michelle Harrison

says:

Wrapping picture books as a way to count down to Christmas is such a great idea!

Emma

says:

Such a great idea !!! My son will surely enjoy! Thank You!

Ang

says:

What a fun idea – I may even use some old favorites that I know my kids would enjoy again together. :)

Andreana Archambault

says:

Wow. What a wonderful idea! Implementing immediately. ❤️

NANCY

says:

Love this idea. What a great gift. Thanks for sharing.

ABIGAIL W

says:

How fun! I might use reusable giftbags to cut down on cost and materials.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Reusable gift bags are a great idea, Abigail!

Andrea

says:

We have done this for years and my kids love it! Some great new book addition ideas, thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Andrea. 😊

Reannon M

says:

Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer

says:

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea.

Mary Roberts

says:

We love reading tons of great christmas books every year.

Lauren

says:

I certainly think this is a much better idea than them getting candy or another tiny toy every day. We love Christmas books. My kids love Frosty because I did voices the first time and now I am not allowed to read it without them. 😂

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lauren,
My favorite part of doing voices is hearing my kids very early attempts to do their own voices when they are new readers. It’s definitely worth it.

Elizabeth

says:

This is a great idea and when you read together it creates memories and traditions that go beyond most advent calendars!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, exactly, Elizabeth! Creating memories to last a lifetime. 😊

Cassandra

says:

Thanks for the tags!

Heather Wilson

says:

My 7 yo son struggled with phonemic awareness and reading last year. He loved to be read to, but was reduced to tears when it was his turn to read. After testing, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and AAR was recommended as a curriculum to build his skills. Since starting AAR, my son made huge gains, his confidence has grown and no more tears. We plan to continue with successive levels and will use AAR with my 4 yo when she is ready.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

This is great, Heather! Thank you for sharing with us how well your son is doing. I am especially pleased to hear that he has no more tears with reading.

Keep up the amazing work!

Sherry

says:

We usually pull all the Christmas books out and leave them by one of the boys beds to read before bedtime. I try to read our favourites before I take them to school to read to my class!

Anne Tucker

says:

Great idea and book suggestions!

Marilyn Gingerich

says:

I am grateful that I learned about All About Spelling. My daughter used to really dislike Spelling because it was so hard for her. All About Spelling has taken the dread out of the subject. She might even admit to liking it a little!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Marilyn,
I’m grateful to hear that All About Spelling is helping to take the dread out of spelling for your daughter!

Kathy

says:

What a fun idea!

Paula

says:

Such a neat idea

Cam

says:

Write special family events from the year and tuck them into the ornament boxes to be read together as you decorate your tree. Each family member has a chance to read.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a lovely idea, Cam! Such a sweet way to celebrate the entire year.

Breanna

says:

Such a great idea for children!

Amanda C. Simmons

says:

What a great idea.

Terry Y

says:

Awesome idea!

Connie

says:

I love the book a day idea!!

Laura

says:

What a wonderful idea! I really appreciate a candy-free advent calendar. Thanks for sharing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Laura,
You are welcome. It is nice to have holiday activities that aren’t food-centered.

Emily J Cargile

says:

I love this idea! I love how it is organized and how well thought out it is!

Katherine

says:

I love this idea and a few years ago created a set for each of children so my grandchildren would have an advent set. This year, I’m creating another set with activities bookmarked and the supplied included to complete the activity. New this year…rhyming books, not just Christmas books :)
I’m also a Special Education teacher and I really want to begin the All About Spelling with a 4th grader who is, interestingly…a good reader, but refuses to write because he cannot look at his own spelling mistakes. I also really want to get my hands on the book about courage and the feline you discussed in a video. I feel like this same student is “held prisoner” by his fear of seeing his spelling mistakes and I want to help him develop courage and a willingness to try!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katherine,
I love, love, love your ideas of putting together a set for your grandchildren! What a wonderful grandmother you are!

I’m sorry your student is having such difficulties with spelling. Hopefully you can help him to have courage to make mistakes. If you need anything, let me know.

mandi

says:

This is so fun! We love snuggling in for a good picture book… thank you for the idea & the tags!

Amber Pike

says:

How fun! We love Christmas books!

Laura

says:

Love this!

Laura

says:

Live this idea!

Angela

says:

This is a fun idea. You can never have too many books!

Amy

says:

What a great idea!!!

Fatima

says:

Awesome idea

Robert Marino

says:

This is a great idea that I plan to use this holiday season.

Jessica Rittenhouse

says:

What a great idea! I have been wanting to do an advent calendar but did NOT want to do the little piece of candy with 5 kids! This is all inclusive! Thanks so much!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
I wasn’t a big fan of candy or gifts times 5 either when my kids were young. I would have loved to have thought of this back in the day.

Isobel Gillian Ball

says:

Have the children act out the nativity story using their soft toys and dolls as actors for the characters after you have read the Nativity story to them from their Nativity favourite book or children’s bible. I did this for a few years on Christmas morning with my own children-they re-nacted the story for their daddy and it was very touching. It was also fun.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, I love this idea, Isobel. So sweet and such a great way to increase their understanding too.

Ashley

says:

Such a fun idea!

Emma

says:

This is a brilliant idea – so much more meaningful for a family than chocolates!

Keriann

says:

This is a great idea!

Beth Baker

says:

This is a wonderful and meaningful way to encourage reading. Thank you.

Jennifer Massey

says:

I love this idea! We’re on a tight budget, but books are the top of our thrift store shopping list. You could easily create a budget friendly advent and give some old books new love at the same time.

Nancy Owens

says:

With 2 families, I think about the cost for 48 books! I’m hoping to find many in soft cover…. LOVE this idea.

Claire

says:

It definitely is an added expense. To minimize that, we buy ours gently used through either Thriftbooks or Abebooks. It doesn’t help this year but for future years, we buy them after the holidays for the following year, spreading the cost out over many months.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nancy,
One idea if you don’t have many books yet is to not do the entire month of December. If you aim for just a week or ten days first, it is much more affordable. Another idea is to use library books. Maybe not get all the Christmas books the library has, but maybe a week’s worth. They can be wrapped, enjoyed, and then returned. Claire’s ideas for used books and after Christmas sales are great too.

Nancy Owens

says:

Yes, I like the idea of using library books and this year I might just combine them with 5 of my favourites that I would write a special note in and date. I appreciate hearing all the feedback about such a worthwhile advent calendar!

Amanda Bailey

says:

I’ve seen this idea before, but I think this year I’m actually going to do it! It’s such a good idea, and besides the fun family reading, it will be a great way to use up some old collections of wrapping paper! :D

Bethany Mazzola

says:

I can’t wait to do this!

Amanda

says:

Great idea!

Kris

says:

What a clever idea to foster the love of reading and family time!

Debby

says:

Very neat!

Shannon Weinman

says:

What a great idea!

Anneta

says:

What a wonderful idea! Thank you so much.

Shannon Alexander

says:

Every year round this time I think that I am going to do this. I love the idea of it. It just hasnt happened yet!

Jessica

says:

Love this idea!

Tina Mackey

says:

Love his idea!

Kaila Lindsay

says:

I love the idea of re-introducing old favorites!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kaila,
I agree! I love that revisiting old favorites.

Jaime Cartagena

says:

I love this idea! This would be perfect for my six year old granddaughter!

Степанова Евгения Леонидовна

says:

Thanks a lot for your brilliant idea!
I’ve got a big collection of new Christmas books and haven’t found yet any ideas to use it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome! Enjoy. 😊

sonnet

says:

cool stuff

Robyn

says:

I love this idea! We have acquired so many Christmas books over the years and we often forget about reading any of them until Christmas is nearly over, this makes reading them a super special activity

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Robyn,
If you already have a lot of Christmas books, this idea is especially easy. It’s such a fun way to enjoy the books all through the season.

Paula

says:

I was planning on trying this out this year. Thanks for the printables and book ideas.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Paula. 😊

Destiny

says:

What a fun idea!

Aaron

says:

All about reading is great and this is a great way to showcase those skills

Stacy Clemenson

says:

Wow I just love the resources you guys have on your site! Thank you for these great advent ideas!

Lisa

says:

This sounds like a fun idea, thanks!

Candee

says:

I love this idea! Thank you!

Megan Brien

says:

This is such a great idea! I learned of this idea last year and did it with our girls and they loved it! We did not have 25 Christmas books at the time but wrapped what we had and just got started unwrapping them a little later into December. The girls looked forward to it everyday! After Christmas I tried to hide our Christmas books, to keep them special for this year, but the girls constantly asked for them! Such a special idea I highly recommend! And I’m so excited to use these cute tags and check out your book list!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Megan,
I love that your girls enjoyed this idea so much last year! What a great adaptation if you don’t have 25 books too. Thanks for sharing it.

Genea Fittro

says:

This program has helped our family tremendously. So glad we discovered you!

Elizabeth

says:

I really Like this idea! It has been a few years since I did this with my boys

Jo Mckay

says:

What a great idea! We already have a few of these books. Thanks for sharing.

Brenda

says:

Thank you for this great idea!

Katilyn

says:

I was just a part of a jesse tree ornament exchange and am excite to use that for advent with my children.

Patricia Baxter

says:

Love this!

Amy Cox

says:

Love this idea. You can never have too many books!!! Thanks!!

Sarah

says:

Super excited about all the tips aar has offered us on our reading journey. My child has excelled as a result. Thank you!

Karalee

says:

Normally my kids just get a book in their night before Christmas box, but having them unwrap them all the way up to Christmas sounds like a really neat and exciting idea!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karalee,
I love that you give your kids books every year on Christmas eve. Such a great tradition.

Alyssa Squier

says:

My family’s favorite winter (Christmas) pastime is to read the Jesse Tree Devotional, to color the corresponding ornament, and to place it on the tree.

Heather

says:

I did something similar to this years ago, but I’m going to do it again this year. It’s always a hit with the kids.

Katelyn Fagan

says:

I love this idea!! It goes great with the want need wear read gift idea too, as well as a great advent gift.

Keisha Hudson

says:

This is such a creative idea to start new traditions.

Amber

says:

I love this idea! Thank you for sharing!

Charissa Morris

says:

I love this idea I was tempted to participate in a book companies Countdown to Christmas that was going to cost me $80 but now I just need to make time to select books at my library, wrap them with the heaps of paper I have lying around and POOF!! Virtually free fun all month long!!

Rachael Kirk

says:

My kids love re-reading their favorite books so I may start mixing new books with old, beloved books as we start this tradition :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rachael,
I love the idea of starting with the old, beloved books!

Jolene

says:

Sounds like fun. Thanks

Kimberly Bennett

says:

Thank you for this fun idea and the advent tags

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Kimberly.

NOELLE M KNIGHT

says:

This has been on my list to do for a few years. Maybe this year I have enough time to actual get it started!

Jann Price

says:

What a wonderful idea! We will be starting this tradition.

Hope Shelton

says:

We love all about reading!

Nicole Franetovich

says:

So much fun! Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea and taking the time to share the list!

Jen

says:

So excited to try this idea, thanks for sharing!!!

Katy

says:

Love this idea!! We are going to do it this year!!!!

Kennah

says:

What a fun way to incorporate good literature into the season! I like Cranberry Christmas by Wende Devlin. We enjoy reading Cranberry Thanksgiving, but the same author, in the fall.

Bri Shrout

says:

Great idea! Definitely looking forward to trying this!

Eileen

says:

What a fun idea!!

Dorothy Boucher

says:

I love this idea and i’m going to check out your book list here, I do this for my grandchildren, all 10 of them but mostly the younger ones love it!
@tisonlyme143

Diane

says:

Great idea!

Megan

says:

Love this idea. Thanks for all the great book suggestions!

Amy

says:

What a great idea!

Katy

says:

I have fond memories from my childhood of the Christmas books coming out each year. My favorite place to read them was under the Christmas tree!

Tori Benoit

says:

This is a fun idea!

Stephanie Illguth

says:

I love this idea so much! And even if I can’t get enough books collected, you’ve inspired me to create some kind of countdown advent, which was missing from our christmas decor this year!
Also, after a decade of homeschooling, I’ve finally found a curriculum for learning to read that I LOVE!!! My kids love it to; it’s such a relief, and it’s All About Reading, thank you!

Phyllis

says:

Love the list! Thank you.

Corie Haylett

says:

What a neat idea to gets kids reading more!

Deonna

says:

Love the advent book idea, much better than candy : )

Jolene Drake

says:

Love these Tags. I’m starting to make it a tradition this year. Also hope to start using AAR this winter.

Crystal Hubbard

says:

This is a wonderful idea. Thank you! I’m going to start collecting books now.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Crystal,
Great idea! Now it the time so you can spread out the cost and have it all ready before December begins. Enjoy!

Anita

says:

Love it!!! 🎄

Kristina

says:

I LOVE this idea! A friend said that she will actually use library books for this too! No need to purchase the books if you can’t or don’t want to actually buy them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kristina,
Using library books for at least some of them is a great idea.

Andrew

says:

Great idea

Jen Dauer

says:

Oh man, I LOVE this idea! I can’t believe I didn’t think of it! I have a tradition of picking out a Christmas chapter book to read aloud to the kids every night every Christmas season. It puts us in the right mindset to really appreciate the season.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We have the same tradition, Jen! I read aloud A Christmas Carol (my teens’ choice) this year.

Sandra Ruiz

says:

yes! This is such a great idea! We enjoy opening up a “new” book for 24 days! We are thinking of using cloth instead of wrapping paper next year.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Reusable cloth bags would make wrapping a snap each year. Great idea, Sandra!

Anna

says:

Such a great idea to get kids excited about reading. Could be incorporated into a classroom as well — teacher opens a new book to read to the class everyday. Creates an association of books being a gift.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Oooh, great idea to adapt for the classroom, Anna!

Goodreaux B

says:

We started using this tradition 2 years ago and kiddos love it!

Bethani LaCoursiere

says:

I love this idea so much!! Thank you!

I wish I had done this for this past Christmas but it gives me an idea to do something for lent coming up in 2019. Your site has some great ideas.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Thanks, Merlyka! I hope you have fun starting a new tradition in 2019!

Thank you for sharing – a FABULOUS idea!

shanon Jurgens

says:

I love this idea! I will definitely be adding this to our Advent traditions next year.

I can’t wait to get started!

Nicki A

says:

Brilliant!!! I didn’t even think about wrapping library books for this! That makes it doable for so many families that just wouldn’t be able to afford buying that number of books.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Exactly! Have fun with the idea, Nicki!

Betty

says:

I love the Christmas Advent Calendar idea. I gave my grandchildren a book each Advent Sunday! They loved it and it helped them focus on the true meaning of Christmas

Merry

says: Customer Service

Ooohh, what sweet gifts, Betty!

Molly Simmons

says:

My mother in law did this last year and it was a great success with our 3 year old!

Sarah Bingham

says:

What a great idea! Maybe next year.

Suzanne

says:

We do this every year with Library books and my kids love it! It’s so fun to open a book each day. This year I bought them each one book and each year we are going to add a new one to their collection.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Suzanne,
I love that you are adding one new book to each child’s collection each year. What a great tradition to look forward to!

Betsy Birulkin

says:

Wish I had read this sooner! Great idea!

Lovie Sellers

says:

I have liked this idea for sometime. i hadnt thought about using library books.Thanks.

Kim

says:

I’ve wanted to do this the last couple years but with a new baby I didn’t get around to it. This year I set the intention to do so, collected a couple more to add to my winter/Christmas library, and prepared myself after Thanksgiving(yay for that week between Thanksgiving and December!). I didn’t wrap them though, and just set out 6 for the week, with their covers facing outward as an invitation to read. My 6.5 year old and 2 year old have loved grabbing a book and asking me to read it to them. We snuggled in and read the stories, sometimes several times in a row. Now that we’re in the last 10 days to Christmas I think I want to make the effort of wrapping and will use the tag pdf you’ve provided. Thank you!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kim! I love how you made this work for your family.

Jennifer

says:

My mom did this for us this year and we are loving it. Although a heads up that littles may have trouble just opening one a day 😉

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, I can imagine the excitement makes it hard to keep to one a day, Jennifer! But what a wonderful thing to be excited about. 😊

Erin D

says:

We do this, and we have a wonderful collection of books from years of playing the game! Even my adult children won’t part with the books they got over the years.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What wonderful memories you have made for your children over the years, Erin! (And I have a stack of books from my childhood that I will not part with either. 😉)

Kathryn Meachum

says:

I’ve thought about doing this, but counting down to the Solstice, but I’ve had trouble finding enough on theme books

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kathryn,
Maybe you could supplement the books you find with solstice-related crafts, with the craft materials wrapped and ready to go? And maybe you can mix in some books that are about the winter season even if they aren’t specifically about the solstice? I hope you can find a way for this to work for your family.

Misty

says:

I love this idea. My kids would love this too.

Jenn

says:

THis is such a great idea

Steph

says:

I love this idea! A great way to flood a home with s love of reading.

Nancy

says:

This is such a fun idea.

Brittany Griffith

says:

I love this idea! Thanks!

Amanda

says:

what a great idea!

Rebekah

says:

What I great idea!! I love it! My kids love doing the advent calendar so i’m always looking for new ideas to do it!! Can’t wait to try this one!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Have fun adding books to your advent calendar traditions, Rebekah! It should be a nice change up that also encourages literature.

Courtney M

says:

We’ve done this a few years! It’s a great way to make sure that the Christmas books get read too!

Meagan

says:

This is a great idea! Saving for next year.

Kari

says:

This is a great idea. We have ordered some additional Christmas books to add to our collection from this list. Thanks for this idea!

Bamallamaburgan

says:

Perfect for December morning basket!

Natalia Gibson

says:

Lovely idea!

Erika S.

says:

What a great idea!!

Sarah

says:

What a great idea! You get to look forward to reading a book together every day!

Katie Nolan

says:

This is a wonderful idea! I home school both of my boys, and we are always looking for new ways to encourage reading.

Danielle Wenzel

says:

I love this idea!

Carly

says:

This is such a great idea. We are always looking for Christmas books at thrift stores to add to our collection.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thrift stores are a great place to look for Christmas books! Thanks for the reminder, Carly!

Jill

says:

This year each of my 4 kids gets to pick a Christmas book each night for read aloud. The 5 year old has chosen the same book every night!

Heidi

says:

What a great idea! To keep costs down, I’d start with the thrift store. 📚 💕

Stephanie

says:

Love doing this with the kids. Have gotten lots of christmas books through Scholastic for a good price.

Jenya Berelekhis

says:

Amazing idea, thank you

Dawn Williams

says:

I love these ideas here. Christmas is a magical time for children and adding reading about Christmas themes fosters the love of reading!

Becky Hinton

says:

I gathered all my Christmas books that would be possible to read in one sitting. I had 13. I purchased another 11 books. My children helped me wrap them all, not being allowed to really have a good look at any of them. We printed off the labels and they cut them out and we tied them to presents. They had to wait almost a week before I would tell them why we had wrapped them. They were so excited. It has been so enjoyable to sit together and read Christmas stories each day. It’s something that I always want to do at Christmas time, sit and read with the children. But too often the season gets away from me without reading much at all. But this past week has been different, so wonderful to take the time to sit and read together. Thank you for this wonderful idea and for providing the lovely tags.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

What lovely memories you are making with your children, Becky! Thank you for sharing this snapshot with us! I’m glad you liked the tags. :)

Mia Hall

says:

This is such a great idea! I will have my kids open the present for the day at our nightly storytime.

Danielle Camp

says:

I love this idea!! Instead of adding to the endless list of Christmas activities it’s a simple stay at home way to create memories.

Nicole

says:

We’re going to do this!

Morgan H

says:

Love this idea

Nicole

says:

Fun idea!

Rachel

says:

I really love this idea!

Kateri

says:

Love this—-unique idea rather than flat poster or flag…thanks!

Kristina

says:

I love this idea! My kids will opening a present to read each day.

Carrie

says:

This is a lovely idea. Thank you also for the booklist.

Joanna Adams

says:

We’ve done a book advent for the past 5 years, and me and my girls love it!

Jennifer

says:

I love this idea! Thanks for empowering me to make my own instead of using a generic store-bought advent calendar.

Pauline

says:

Love this idea! We usually do a mixture of books, small toys, small sweets, crafts, and decorations. Sometimes we stage a scene for my daughter to wake up to, like elves climbing the tree or getting into the Christmas cookies!

Kathleen

says:

We have been doing this for years! All 7 of my kids, even my teens love this tradition.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kathleen,
I love that your teens still love this tradition! I can just imagine the sweet, homey memories you are making.

Valerie

says:

My boys and I are trying this for the first time and are really enjoying it. Leaving all the books out for display was too tantalizing for my three year old, so we just bring them out on the day they will be opened.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Valerie,
I never thought of the temptation that many wrapped “presents” might pose, but I can see how it could be difficult for a little one. Bring one out each day is a great way to still enjoy a book-a-day through the season though. 😊

Kelly

says:

What a wonderful idea!

Katie B

says:

I love the idea of enjoying a new book each day leading up to Christmas. It would be a great way to have some calming time during such a stressful season!

Great idea! We wrapped an old diaper box and keep our Christmas books in it under the tree.

Kate

says:

Love this idea! And thank you for the great booklist!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kate! I hope you can find a new favorite or two. 😊

Paula

says:

What a thoughtful idea! I look forward to trying this out next year with the kiddos.

Danielle Lidster

says:

Definitely want to try this next year!

Kendra

says:

Such wonderful ideas!

Julie

says:

Love this idea! Maybe we can try it for next year’s Advent.

Natalie

says:

Oohh I love this idea so much! My kids get into the holiday spirit so much more when we read books and learn about it. They’re 4 and 1. It’s already the 5th of December but I’m still going to do this for them. Thank you for the book ideas. I’ll be looking for a few of them in store so I can get this together quickly

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Here is still plenty of time, Natalie! Have fun making wonderful memories with your little ones.

Caryn

says:

What a wonderful idea and great tradition! We’re a little behind this year but I’d love to start gathering books through next year to set aside for this purpose!

Jennifer Redford

says:

Oh I love this idea!!!

Eve

says:

This sounds like a great idea!

Tashlyn

says:

This is one of our favorite things to do!!

Laura Stephenson

says:

This is a great idea for Advent.

Lissa

says:

I like to just check out a bunch of christmas books from the library, but the wrapping is to much for my plate right now.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lissa,
I’ve heard of people buying gift bags or even just putting the books into a basket unwrapped. The point is to enjoy reading together this holiday season!

Shannon Snyder

says:

I love this idea. I’m too late in getting started this year, but plan to use it next year with my elementary ESL students. I’ll post the link in Remind for parents too.

Jodi Taylor

says:

Great idea. I know our local library does this too.

Jena

says:

Love your materials I have found them most helpful with my 3rd and 4th grade students

Kim

says:

I love the idea of using books to countdown to Christmas! As a relatively new ‘chapter book’ reader, daughter has a huge number of books on her Christmas list – what a great way to help her grow her library without an overwhelming number of presents on Christmas day.

Jessica

says:

I absolutely love this idea! And I love the idea of using library books to lessen the burden of the cost associated with that number of books!!!

Sarah

says:

What a great way to build special moments into a busy season.

Katie H.

says:

This is a really cute idea! I can’t wait to try it!

Manuel Turazo

says:

The blog article is useful. Do you know how to create a Christmas Book Advent Calendar? Reading the whole article will help you to know how to create a Christmas Book Advent Calendar. The article says that Christmas Book Advent Calendar is so simple and yet so fun. And best of all, it’s the perfect way to incorporate read-aloud time into your family’s holiday traditions.

Charlotte

says:

This could also be a fun activity in a classroom, where books are wrapped as read alouds for each day, and students get to take turns unwrapping the read aloud for the day. My Gr. 4 students typically love this kind of activity and would be filled with great anticipation of our next book!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

That would be such a great classroom activity, Charlotte! I’m sure the kids would be so excited!

Ann Lee

says:

The Cobweb Christmas is a wonderful read aloud!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ooo, it looks like a sweet book, Ann. Thank you for the recommendation!

Tory

says:

What a great idea! So fun!

Sara

says:

Fun idea! This year we are starting to do a Christmas book or read aloud instead of our regular morning basket for the month of December.

Cosette

says:

How fun! In my home, our advent activities include a smattering of Christmas books, but I’ve never thought to wrap them until I saw your post photo. I’ll add a title, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, it’s one of our favorites.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the additional book recommendation, Cosette!

Heather

says:

So many great ideas and never enough time!

Randi Duque

says:

Love this idea! Much better than candy!

Randi Duque

says:

Awesome idea! Definitely will have to look at doing this!

Shawnna

says:

clever idea!

Kathy Dee

says:

My kids love this!

Nikky

says:

Have done this with my twins and they have loved it.

Ariana

says:

My kids love this! Thanks for the new book ideas!

Annette O'Donnell

says:

Great ideas!

Tanya

says:

Love your suggestions

Anna Gerard

says:

I love this idea! And all the tips at the end!

Shannon Pratten

says:

What a clever idea! We love doing our traditional advent filled with crafts and community service. Now I will incorporate more books. Thank you.

Lisa Browning

says:

Such a great activity!

JEn

says:

We read Christmas books at breakfast all through December as part of our morning time.

Maggie

says:

I live outside the US and English books are hard to come by but there are free Christmas-themed short stories available online. They can be printed and placed in an envelope.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a great idea, Maggie! Thank you for sharing it.

Karen

says:

I like the idea of gifting books, but this is a bit much – if I gave each of my kids 24 books each year, we’d have an incredible amount of books! Generally I prefer swapping old books for new ones at the library each month. There are just a few classics we like to keep at home.

Meredith

says:

Hey Karen! No need to buy new ones!!! I wrap up all of our old favorites for our book advent! After all, advent is the season of waiting and anticipation!! It’s fun to rediscover all our old favorites together. Sometimes I throw in some new ones, but you don’t have to. My neighbor borrows library books and just makes sure they are opened in the first few days so they can be returned in a timely manner. And with 3 kids, we all just share one set of 24 books! They alternate who gets to unwrap and then we all sit and read it together!

Karen

says:

Good idea!

Stacey

says:

What a great idea!

Bobbye Pearson

says:

I love buying books for my grandson! Thanks for the Christmas Book Ideas!

Megan

says:

Thanks for all the great Christmas book suggestions

Jennifer Martin

says:

We love books and keep and keep our Christmas books with our Christmas decorations. I think it would be so much fun to wrap them, and add a new one each year. It will make it an awesome activity to count down the days to Christmas!

Jennifer

says:

What a great idea!

Jennifer Chandler

says:

My children love doing this every year!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I bet your children love the wonderful memories you are creating every year, Jennifer!

Carol

says:

Thank you for the book list. During the Christmas season, I like reading books about the Christmas season to my grandson. It is a special time for both of us.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carol,
I love that you share Christmas books with your grandson! Yes, that would be a very special time for both of you. 😊

Laurie

says:

Love this idea! Many of our books would need to be library books though, as we only have a few Christmas books. I’ll just need to make sure they don’t go overdue!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Laurie,
See how digitally savvy your library has become. My library now has an option that will email me the day before books are due, so I can either renew online or return them. It’s a great service and has saved me a lot of fines!

Tabitha

says:

I love this idea! I am excited to do it this year!

Alina Rodgers

says:

This is a great idea, especially for the little ones who love to read.

Dianna

says:

Love this idea!

Andrea

says:

Great Idea! Fantastic way to encourage and excite kiddos about reading!!

Lorraine Gilliam

says:

Great idea

Jocelyne

says:

Brilliant idea!

mona

says:

Brilliant ideas to incorporate reading and tradition

M Harkness

says:

Great idea!

Jeana

says:

Sounds like a very fun idea. Look forward to trying it this year.

crystal mccord

says:

Very neat idea.

Abbey F

says:

I might go ahead and wrap the books up this year. Last year, my children read ALL of our books in the first two or three days of Advent, and it was a bummer.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It’s great to have such enthusiastic readers, Abbey! However, I can see how wrapping could help to spread the joy throughout the season.

vania

says:

This is a very good idea! I always see the same thing over and over but my kids love christmas books and they’ll love this!

Jacqueline

says:

I love this idea! I’m excited to start this!!!

Debbie

says:

Awesome ideas!

Missy H

says:

How cool! We have a special bin of Christmas books we’ve collected throughout the years. I bring it out after Thanksgiving.

Amber

says:

I love this idea. Thanks.

Ruth

says:

What a great idea. Never done this before, will have to try it this year.

Heather

says:

Thanks for this great idea! We love Christmas books!

Lindsay Wilson

says:

I started early this year (September, when they aren’t all checked out), checking out Christmas books from the library in September to review books myself and see which might want to add to our family’s collection. There are soooooooo many out there, to choose from, and many of them fell short of whatI was looking for in a book.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Clever, Lindsay, and so organized to start preparing so early!

Courtney

says:

Love this idea!

Raiza

says:

They look so cute!

Stan Wheeler

says:

Awesome idea!

Evelynne

says:

We do this every year. So fun!

Olivia

says:

This is a wonderful idea! Though I’ve never wrapped the books, we have read special books throughout the Christmas season for several years. I add a new book or two each year, such that we’ll soon have one for each day of December. We also have special fall and Thanksgiving books, of which our favorite is Thanksgiving at the White House, which is set in the time of the Lincoln’s residence there.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Olivia,
We did certain special books at certain times of the year when my kids were younger. It’s a great tradition!

Dorothy

says:

We’re going to do this next month!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope you have lots and lots of fun with it, Dorothy!

Carrie

says:

I love this idea!!

Mira

says:

I LOVE this idea!!!

Jessica

says:

So fun!

Tara

says:

With having little one that loves books, this is a great Idea!

Molly Patz

says:

What a Great idea!

Eli’s mom

says:

Love this idea! I like the tip of alternating books with movies! Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I like that idea too. I love Christmas movies! 😊

Sabrina Lagace

says:

Love this idea!

Katy

says:

So fun! Thanks for sharing your list!

This is a great idea! We’ve learned SO much from picture books over the years.

Sherry

says:

Love the Christmas Advent book idea. What a fun way to spice up thereading plan.

Marie Fletcher

says:

Although I I live in Sweden I just love your articles and material. Thank you.

Bliss

says:

Thanks for the great idea! :)

Emily Cook

says:

I love this idea!

Maria

says:

This is such a great idea! And those printable tags are so pretty! Thank you!

Allison

says:

We usually check out lots of Christmas books from the library; Santa also leaves each child a Christmas book in their stocking each year, so we’ve built up a collection that onlycomes out at Christmas time each year

Jane

says:

What a great change to the typical chocolate and small toys!!

Mary

says:

LOVE this idea! Thank you!

D. Dorsey

says:

Wonderful and unique idea to get excited about Christmas.

Becky Lind

says:

3 stories we enjoy:
The Little Drummer Boy illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Holly Pond Hill, A Child’s Book of Christmas with poems by Paul Kortepeter, illustrated by Susan Wheeler

Linda Difino

says: Customer Service

Thank you so much for these wonderful recommendations, Becky! We’ll add them all to the readers’ recommendation box at the end of the picture book post!

Kathy

says:

Great idea. I used to do something similar, but some nights I planned other Christmas activities like wrap cookie cutters and make cookies that night, etc.

Kayla

says:

I have done this with my own kids when they were young. This year I think I will do it in class so that they might stay interested and use it as a behavior incentive. Thanks for the reminder and the number tags. PS I am starting my daughters’ collections for when they have kids. Each Christmas they get a new Christmas book to add to their collection.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kayla,
I love that you are buying books for your future grandchildren! What a lovely idea.

Erin H

says:

This is a great idea! I’m going to do this!

Angela Cox

says:

I am seeing my son learn to read using this program. It is exciting!

Lauren Rasmussen

says:

I’ve always waned to do this and never thought to use library books! Fantastic idea!

Kristin Pennington

says:

Great idea!

Chanel

says:

Very excited to do this with my little ones this year! Thanks!!

Jamie

says:

Such a great idea! I had put our holiday books in our morning basket, but love the idea of wrapping them to increase the anticipation :)

Cindi

says:

Love this!

Robin

says:

LOVE this idea! We keep our Christmas book collection under lock and key all year so it is extra special when they open them up every December! Like seeing old friends ❤️

Larae

says:

Ive heard of this traditional before. I may have to act on it this year. We also love Jothan’s Journey and series that have advent readings for each day.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the recommendation, Larae!

Felicia McKibben

says:

My MIL started this tradition for my kids and they love having a new book to read everynight and getting to open a present! Love the tag idea.

Jenny B

says:

This is a great idea. Since our basket of Christmas books is already overflowing, I think I’ll try to think of a way to modify it so we don’t buy any new books, but make sure to read 25 of the ones we already have. Maybe I’ll write all the titles on slips of paper and have the children draw out one to read each day or something like that. :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sounds like a great adaptation to fit your needs, Jenny!

Kristen Inch

says:

I love this idea! What a wonderful gift to give your kids! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa

says:

I love this! I’ve been searching for an advent calendar that doesn’t foster a consumer mentality. This is a wonderful way to spend time together while creating wonder, appreciation and anticipation. Thanks!

Melissa

says:

I LOVE this idea. You have to get the Christmas books on hold early from my library though so planning ahead is key.

Rebecca

says:

I want to do this

Claudia B.

says:

I have already ordered books to do this, thanks for the downloadable tags! I know my kids will love it :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Claudia! I hope you make lots of lovely memories this holiday season. 😊

Marie-Paule Hill

says:

I have used this in the past. The kids loved it.

Katie

says:

Great idea!!

Laura

says:

So excited to put this together for my 2 year old! I have a lot of the books in my classroom, but will also be mixing in bible stories and fun crafts/activities to keep us busy!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sounds like so much fun, Laura, and great memories in the making!

Caryn

says:

this is such a great idea! I did it once before a couple of years ago. had a little bit of difficulty finding enough books from the library that i was able to check out all at once – tip: when using library books, use them first so that they can be returned and others can enjoy them during the Christmas season as well- so i couldn’t wrap all 25 at once. And my older children loved it just as much as the younger ones. This year I think I’ll take the suggestion to mix in a family craft during our Sunday advent night and a Saturday family movie. Might take a little more planning, but i know they appreciate the effort and it creates fun memories!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great tips, Caryn, especially about getting the library books returned so others can enjoy them. 😊

My kiddos LOVE to unwrap a new book each night – this really leads into kicking the next year off the right way :) Lot’s of family reading!

Cindy

says:

Love this program

robin

says:

Can you do this with older children too?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Definitely, Robin! This can work with older children, although you’ll need to get a bit more creative. If your older children are reading chapter books, you will want to intermix books with other gifts, as I don’t know of many people that can go through a chapter book a day! You could intermix Christmas movies and even things like journals and craft kits with the books. Or, you could do a book a day, but choose a variety of books to read throughout the year and not just Christmas stories.

If you need some suggestion of Christmas chapter books, I have a few. My family’s all-time favorite is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. We also love A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson is a touching one. The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements is cute and sweet, by a favorite children’s author. I’ve heard great things about Jotham’s Journey by Arnold Ytreeide, but I haven’t personally read it yet.

Did you know Iceland has the most wonderful Christmas Eve tradition? It’s called jólabókaflóð, which means yule book flood. In Iceland, pretty much everyone gives and gets a new book on Christmas Eve and then they settle down for a cozy read right then. Such a wonderful tradition!

If you decide to do this with your older kids, I’d love to hear how it goes!

Amanda Fowler

says:

I LOVE this idea! I am going to do this. It’s hot summer right now, but it will be here before you know it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
Since this picture book advent calendar is a pretty big project, starting early is a great idea!

Genevieve

says:

Such a cute idea! We have a holiday book basket, but wrapping them would add a fun element; I can imagine the excitement on my littles faces st the reveal of each one😊

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Genevieve,
I’m glad we could give you an idea for next year!

Jessica

says:

We are enjoying the Advent Book Calendar. Thanks for the great idea!

Brittney Galloway

says:

We do this and often hide it in a room and have a quick hunt for it!

Megan

says:

Such a wonderful idea!

Sherry

says:

We always have a holiday stash of books but I’ve never wrapped them. As I’ve been trying to not use wrapping paper, it looks like I have more fabric gift bags to make. And, if my boys don’t like the idea, then I have lots of gift bags to use next year!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sherry,
I have long thought that fabric gift bags would be the best way to do this. Plus, fabric gift bags for books would be especial easy to make!

Rachel

says:

We are trying this for the first time this advent!

Michele Davidson

says:

Love, love, love this idea! Thank you for sharing!

Jennifer

says:

Someday I’ll be on top of things and read about a great idea like this before Advent begins! : )

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
It’s not too late. You still have time to do two weeks before Christmas, or even more.

Great idea. We’ve been read Tabitha’s Treasure which is an advent chapter book. Very good for many ages. It’s part of a trilogy.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the recommendation, Melanie! My children are far beyond picture books anymore (sniff), and I know others appreciate chapter book recommendations too.

Kari

says:

Great ideas!

Love doing this with my children. We have found some of our favorite authors by borrowing enough Christmas books from the library!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tanya,
What a lovely way to explore new authors and find new favorites!

CyndiN

says:

I love the idea of wrapping books to be read for Advent! I have a stack of books I am going to wrap this evening (better late than never lol). Thanks for sharing the tips :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Way to go! It is better late than never, and it isn’t even all that late.

Amber

says:

We have done this in the past and the kids really enjoyed it! Great idea about pulling all your holiday books out and putting in a basket under the tree! Going to do that tomorrow!!

Emily

says:

I love this idea!

Megan

says:

This is a neat idea!

Jennifer Sherrill

says:

Like this idea. I want my children to love reading!

anita

says:

that is a an amazing idea!

Melissa Bills

says:

We started this tonight we absolutely love it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
Thank you for coming back to let us know that your family enjoyed this!

Jennifer

says:

We have not wrapped our books, but we are reading one a day. 😄

Robyn

says:

I collect the Christmas themed books from bookshelf and put them in a prominent place on the living room. We read 1 (or 2 or 3) most days through the season.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Robyn,
I do the same, to the point that the kids consider the books are part of the Christmas decorations! I have always been very open to the children touching and playing with the decorations (at least the ones not high up!), so the books go right along with that.

Amy Stathos

says:

I love this idea, but I wonder if my boys would be begging to open them all at once ;)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amy,
Yes, that could be a problem. Maybe you could view it as a lesson in patience?

Andria

says:

I could see that happening with my boys…. you could always put one at a time out or under the tree.

Amanda

says:

We might have to try something like this. Love it!

Michelle Paul

says:

Love this idea!

Gina

says:

Love this idea!

Dandi D

says:

I should do this with my children–they’d love it!

Judith Martinez

says:

I would love to do this! It’s on my wish list for next year. This year we have no room for that many books.

Menke

says:

I like the idea, but I too think that it would create some confusion with the library books. Whenever we go to the library, the kids choose their own books and we read them whenever they want, when we get books any other way, they’re for keeps. Not that we usually have wrapped books… so I’m sure I could explain it up front, but I think I’d lean more towards choosing just a few books that I would actually want to buy and then give them on the advent Sunday’s or something (and if possible maybe on Wednesday’s too). That would work nice for my 4-year-old who still really likes to re-read books more than once before moving to the next one. I think a new book a day might still be a little much for her.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Menke,
What a great way to make this idea work with your child’s desire to reread new books a few days before moving onto the next one!

Ashley

says:

We just talkes about doing a 12 days of Christmas theme this way, too.

CReed

says:

Such a fun way to create some excitement around reading – thanks!

Emily

says:

Love this idea,

M Foley

says:

Love this idea for younger children!

Jennifer

says:

This is awesome. Hopefully it’s not to late to start something like this with my kids. I think they’ll love it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It’s not too late. Go for it, Jennifer!

Elizabeth

says:

We’ve done this before! So fun!

Amy

says:

Wonderful idea!

Jessica

says:

I love this idea so much!

BrandyJ

says:

I have never thought of doing a book tradition like this, but I’m planning on starting this year! My boys will love this! Thank you for this suggestion!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Brandy. I hope your children love it as much as so many others have!

Cassandra M

says:

What a great idea :)

Amanda

says:

Fun!!! Great idea! I may not wrap library books though as the kids may think they are books to keep.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
Ummm, that could be a problem. Maybe you could explain the reading of the book is the gift?

Nicole

says:

My family loves this tradition as well! We have a sizable collection of Christmas books.😉

Sandra

says:

We do this every year. So much fun!

Kristin

says:

Awesome idea!!

Katrina

says:

Super cute and fun idea!

Jodi

says:

This is a fun idea!

Amity

says:

This is neat idea

Jinny

says:

Love this idea!!

Lori

says:

Great idea! Not sure I will be able to get all the books around and wrapped by Sunday so I may just pick out books that we have (I have some new ones stored away to pull out periodically) put them in a basket and read one a day.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lori,
A few families have told us they do the book basket approach and it has worked well!

Angela

says:

We have SO MANY Christmas time books. This would be a fun way to go through all of them. :)

Jennifer

says:

This looks like fun! I may need to dig through our shelves and find our Christmas books!

Chassidy

says:

What a fun idea!

Cassandra Cameron

says:

I love this! What a great way to show that reading is all fun!

Chanelle

says:

I would love to incorporate this into our Christmas season! A little too late this year but plan on adding it to my list next year!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Chanelle,
It’s not actually too late. Many Christmas countdown calendars don’t start until 10 or 20 days before Christmas, and Advent this year doesn’t start until the 3rd. You would need to get busy, but you could make this work for this year!

MELISSA B

says:

We should really do this thank you for the idea!

Mandy

says:

What a great idea!

Candi Meadows

says:

What a great idea, especially since we are book lovers!

Grace

says:

What a great idea!

Melissa Holka

says:

This is a wonderful holiday idea!

Rachelle

says:

I think this is a great idea! Now to get organized enough to do it!

Beth

says:

We do this each year! I hide the Christmas books away each year, and our three little ones LOVE unwrapping books, they get so excited to re-read each one they had ‘forgotten!’ It’s my favourite way to do advent!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Beth,
I imagine you have lots of sweet, warm memories of snuggles with books during the Christmas season!

Sandra

says:

This is a very helpful idea! Thank you! We have beeb using AAR and AAS for a few weeks now and we are loving it!

Heather

says:

We read One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham every December. My parents had the same book when I was a kid. The pictures are just so beautiful, and the story is told so well.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the recommendation, Heather. I love that you share this book with your children, just as your parents shared it with you. That sort of multi-generational love of a book warms my heart!

For our family, it’s The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot. My mother read it to me when I was little, and now I share it with my children.

Tammy

says:

I know someone who did this when her kids were younger. I need to try it!

Kimberly W

says:

I have a ton of Christmas books. This is an amazing idea!

Kate

says:

Love this idea!

JW

says:

I love this idea but our bookshelves are already overflowing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

JW,
We have had some blog readers say they used books they already owned, finding titles that have been forgotten for a long while. Also, others use library books that can be kept for a few weeks then returned.

N Spradlin

says:

Love this idea, we are big readers in our home!

Jennifer Horton

says:

We did this last year for advent and plan to do it again! The kids and I really enjoyed it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
Thank you for letting us know your family enjoyed this last year and will be continuing it!

Trisha

says:

This looks like so much fun! We’ll be trying this one

Valerie

says:

Every year I want to do this! I’ve yet to wrap them but I do get all my seasonal books out. I plan to do this today.

Stephanie K

says:

We have done this in the past and it’s so much fun!

Sarah Gentry

says:

I love love this!

Trina

says:

We have a ton of books (like a ton) so just for fun I wrap up ones we already home for this project! Nothing better than bringing a forgotten book back to life.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Trina,
I love the idea of bringing back forgotten favorites in this way!

Kathryn Baird

says:

What a great post! I have collected holiday books for the Christmas season but I love the added portion of wrapping them and connecting them to an Advent calendar. Thank you for sharing.

Jess

says:

We love doing this!! So much fun for everyone.

Ollymarie

says:

My daughter is barely learning to read and is really excited about it. Since it is Christmas I’m going to try to find some Christmas books that she can try to read to me.

Tylee fuller

says:

Thank you for this idea! Great book list.

Nathan

says:

Thank you for the wonderful resources!

Jenn

says:

Trying this my girls this year. They are super excited just looking at the packages!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jenn,
I love that feeling of children’s excitement! Enjoy it!

Elena Taylor

says:

I love the idea of having a collection and am glad some answered my question about redoing this tradition yearly.

Holly Koprowski

says:

I have never thought about this. I love advent calendars and will give this one a try.

Krystal

says:

We’ve done this for a few years, but I really dislike wrapping! :) So now I just put all our Christmas books in a few different baskets and let each child pick one (or more) out each day to read. And if I want to read one on a specific day, then I always get a chance to choose too!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Krystal,
I have thought about getting cloth wrapping bags for the books. It would have some of the fun of unwrapping, but would be reusable from year to year AND it would be much easier to set up than paper wrapping. However, your book basket allows for the perusing of the books at any time and may encourage more independent reading during the season. I guess there are benefits both ways!

Mikkel

says:

I just put all the books on hold at the Library. I can’t wait to do this with my kids!

Tanya

says:

Like the holiday book tradition. Your picture book suggestion has inspired me to have my kids create their own picture book using a 3-ring binder they can create by including all previous school artwork, activities etc. that they have done then adding to the binder each year all the holiday pictures they draw, color pages, mazes, stories etc The binder will be exciting to get out every year and keep out during the season to look at, read and share with others.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tanya,
What a lovely idea! This will be such a special family tradition and provide such a lovely keepsake for years to come. Thank you for sharing this.

Linda

says:

This is the first time I’ve heard of the book advent calendar, but I love the idea! This is great for kids.

Lara

says:

What a great idea! My children would love it!

Kristin

says:

I’ve been collecting books this year and will get more at the library to make my 22 needed. I like the comment too about doing it with books and movies.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kristin,
Yes! I think Christmas movies are almost as wonderful as Christmas books. :D

Johnna

says:

I love this idea! What a festive way to enjoy the season while sneaking in some good reading. Thank you for this beautiful suggestion.

Sky Scott

says:

What a great idea! I love AAR and AAS ! My kids can actually READ now! :)

Emily

says:

I love this idea!

Suzanne

says:

We have a basket of Christmas books we get out every year. I try to add on almost every year. I love your advent idea too!

Jessica

says:

We did this when my daughter was younger. She loved it.

Anneta

says:

What a wonderful idea!!! Thank you for sharing your awesome suggestions.

G

says:

We do a holiday reading book basket, but incorporating Advent is a neat concept :).

Lakeshia

says:

Alassane, has just turned one he has a passion for books and letters especially the letter A. It seems as if Alassane learned the letter A while in my belly. We’re always looking for fun and exciting ways to keep this passion Alassane has for books and letters going while not over overwhelming him. This would be a great tradition to adapt for our Alassane, as we look forward to getting started on the Christmas collection over this weekend.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lakeshia,
Thank you for sharing Alassane’s enthusiasm for the letter A with us! He sounds like such a sweet and fun little boy!

Chelsea P

says:

Thank you for the ‘library list’ and picture book list. This will be great for Advent!

Kris

says:

We would really enjoy something like this for the holidays. We love the “All about Reading and Spelling curriculums.

Val

says:

When the kids were younger I would buy a new Christmas book each year to add to our collection. Now I look forward to sharing them with grandchildren, though even my big kids still read their favorites.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Val,
I absolutely love the idea of keeping books for sharing with my future grandchildren!

Nikki Albright

says:

That’s a great idea!

Carla

says:

Awesome idea and can easily be adapted and used in a classroom!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carla,
I hadn’t thought about that, but yes, I think it would work wonderfully in a classroom. Great idea!

Karla

says:

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Joy

says:

I love the idea of the Advent reading of books. Thanks for sharing the great idea.

Jennifer

says:

fun ideas, thanks!

This is a great way to add books back into the mix that the kids have forgotten about too, especially for the little ones! The older kids always want to read it to them because they remember that book from when they were small, and being the big kids they are all ready to read it now!!

Elizabeth

says:

Love this idea!

Stephanie R

says:

What a fun idea.

Mary EM

says:

I love this idea of the Advent book calendar. We need to spend more time together reading as a family and this would be a fun and easy way to do that.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mary,
Yes, this is a lovely way to make warm-fuzzy memories together during the season. :D

Kelly H

says:

Wonderful tradition– so much is learned through reading to children and discussing books together (and the kids don’t even realize they are learning or “doing school”

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kelly,
Yes! We wholeheartedly agree!

Rachel

says:

Thanks for the Christmas inspirations.

Tina Cook

says:

Great tradition. (my original comment has an incorrect email)

Tina Cook

says:

Sounds like a great tradition!

Carrie L

says:

This is a favorite in our house!

Sylla Leeza Lee

says:

Christmas Day would be forever exciting with your colorful and bright ideas. Especially the little ones. They will be jumping happily & can’t wait another minute for the celebration. Seriously a MUST do!

Tara

says:

What a great idea! Thanks!

Jami

says:

I love this idea! Thank you for the inspiration!

Kris W.

says:

We started this last year and the kids love it!

heidi

says:

Fun idea, I’m always late getting to the library for holiday books, will do this week!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heidi,
Yes, now is the time to snatch up the best Christmas books from the library. But after you read each one, return them so that others can enjoy them this season.

Trish Martinez

says:

Love these ideas! Thank you for jump starting and inspiring our family to make this a fun,new and exciting Christmas!

Love these ideas!! Thank you for helping to inspire not only our children but our entire family! Wrapping Christmas books!! Yes!

Rachel

says:

What a cute Idea! I’ll have to pull out our Christmas and winter books and do it! Maybe I can pick up a few new ones at the thrift store too. Each year we give the kids a new book for Christmas .

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
Yes, thrift and used book stores will probably be pulling out their Christmas books right about now, making it especially easy to add to your collection.

Mikaela

says:

Fun ideas! Thank you!

I love this idea! Great family togetherness.

Amanda Ritter

says:

Excited to get the books we own out and to put some new ones on hold!

LaKrisha C

says:

We have done this in previous years, and we will do it again! Since our kids are older, we’ll do lengthier chapter books but not as many.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

LaKrisha,
That is where we are now too. This year my kids have requested Dicken’s A Christmas Carole again, even though we read it a few years ago.

Kelsey Demers

says:

These are great picture book recommendations!

Julie

says:

We have done this in the past, I think it is time to bring it back again.

Robbin

says:

Last year we followed a December reading calendar from Rainbow Resource. It was such a special time for us, especially since many of the books were first time reads for our family.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Robbin,
I didn’t know that Rainbow Resource has such a list. I need to go check it out!

Angela

says:

Thank you for this amazing book list! I can’t wait to snuggle up and read as a family!

Mary S

says:

I LOVE this idea! It will definitely become a new Christmas tradition in my family!

Dustyn Crocco

says:

Awesome.

Val

says:

Ahh. I love this idea! Another great way to bring the family together!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Val,
Yes! I love how this idea is much more about the time together than about materialism.

Kristen Koenig

says:

We love books in our home! What a great idea!

Andrea

says:

Looking forward to this Advent twist of curling up with our littles and enjoying s Christmas story together. Great idea!

Angie

says:

This is such a sweet idea!

Alissa

says:

What a fun idea! My kids all love books and I’m always looking for more great books to add to our collection. Thanks for the list and ideas!

Jen

says:

What a great way to celebrate the advent season! I appreciate all of your content. I am an American living in Switzerland and your work is a great roadmap as I plan my tutoring lessons each week. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Jen. We are happy to be able to help you help your students!

Becky Uram

says:

Interesting idea.

Angela

says:

I love this idea!

Jamie

says:

My kids love unwrapping gifts and reading–great idea to combine the two!!

Donna

says:

Love love love this!

Nicole

says:

Such a great idea!

Marie

says:

Thank you- I love this idea!

Pat

says:

This is such an interesting idea! I’d never heard of this.

Patsy Foy

says:

Great idea! Thank you so much!

Melissa

says:

We’ve done this in the past and the kids loved it!

Shannon Alexander

says:

Great idea! Also, I never actually knew when Advent started, I just assumed it was the 25 days of Christmas.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shannon,
I’ve never fully understood Advent either. However, this works just as well as a countdown calendar from the 1st to the 25th!

Laurie

says:

Thank you for this idea!

M

says:

This is right up our alley!

Courtney

says:

I love this idea!

Cj

says:

Marking this one down for next year! Thanks

Teresa

says:

Love this! We give books as gifts for lots of occasions.

Jessica

says:

Love this idea! I️ loving getting the kids new book for Christmas.

Kali

says:

One of my favorite holiday memories is 25 days of books!

Christina Fusco

says:

I never thought to use library books! Good idea! I’m a book-a-holic, and I’m running out of shelf space, so as much as I love this idea, I was always hesitant to try.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christina,
The library is a wonderful resource!

Christine

says:

We do this too!

Chris baad

says:

This would be fun…

Sarah Budke

says:

I our family we (the parents) give the kids books for Christmas. We started with books about Christmas, but now we have moved to any good literature.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a lovely tradition, Sarah!

Ashley

says:

Great idea! Would love to try this next year!

Patricia Phelps-Gray

says:

I love this idea! I always give books as gifts.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Patricia,
I love giving books as gifts to young children and parents of young children!

Saab

says:

Love this!!!

Pamela Crane

says:

I love this idea!

Hannah Johnson

says:

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Sarah

says:

We love all sorts of advent calendars! Great idea!

Amanda

says:

This is such a good idea! So simple yet just what I was wanting for my family! Thank you!

Tara

says:

I am getting this ready right now because I remembered it from last year- such great suggestions on the Christmas booklist- Christmas Day in the morning was our favorite last year!

I love your curriculum- my kids look forward to reading so much I have to tell them they can’t do more lessons that day cuz we have to do other subjects. I would love to get the credit so I can purchase levels 5-7 of spelling!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tara,
Thank you for letting us know just how well your kids are reading and how much they enjoy it! We love hearing that!

Trisha Szczodroski

says:

This is a fantastic ideas!! And a great excuse to put more books in my library!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Trisha,
Yes, this is a great excuse to get more books! Enjoy.

Brenley

says:

I have been wanting to do this with my kids for years. I think I finally need to do it.

And I would love to win $100 credit. I have been wanting all about spelling for awhile.

Melynda

says:

I really love this tradition! My kids are always so excited to have a new story every night.

Miranda Brooks

says:

Cool idea!

Amie Wouda

says:

excited to do this this year. We have collected a mix of story books, activity books (like Christmas craft, decoration And baking) and educational books (like a lift the flap atlas)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amie,
I love your idea to mix in Christmas craft and baking books with the storybooks! Thank you for sharing this.

gloria

says:

Im excited to get started!

Elise

says:

What a fun tradition! Thanks for the idea!

Hollie

says:

I love this idea! Now, finding enough Christmas Books…………….

Belinda

says:

We’ve done books under the tree for several years. It’s always been fun for the kids. Now my girls are 14,12, 10 so we’ll all take turns reading a book this year instead of just me reading to everyone each night. They each have their favorite books and it should give them a good chance to practice reading outloud to people.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Belinda,
I like the way you have found to have this tradition grow with your children! Thank you for sharing this.

Carrie

says:

Thanks for the ideas listed here. I have a few Christmas books I pull out every year, but I appreciate that you included a list of books I can look for at the library.

Mary

says:

Marie,
Your Advent list of Christmas books has a wonderful mix of titles. This is a fun and do-able idea to keep some sense of peaceful and relaxation (reading a good book is always relaxing to the spirit) during a busy season.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mary,
I agree! Marie’s book Advent calendar is such a lovely idea for the Christmas season!

Nicole

says:

This is a great idea!

Heather

says:

I’ve always loved this idea but we haven’t managed to implement it yet. We do have 2 advent traditions that relate to books, though. One of our activities on the advent calendar is to spend an evening reading a bunch of our Christmas library books as a family. Even Daddy enjoys this one! We also wrap a new book for each child that is deposited somewhere on their bed after they are asleep on Christmas Eve. That way when they wake up Christmas morning they can enjoy their new book for a while as the rest of the family wakes up. :-)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
I love your tradition of waking up to a new book on Christmas morning! Thank you for sharing this.

Vicky

says:

Love this idea. We did something similar last year but we didnt wrap the books. This year i will definitly wrap the books for added excitement!

Rebekah H.

says:

I purchased 6 of the books on the list and wrapped them up for my sons to unwrap every half week during Advent. We all enjoyed the books and I will probably get another set of them for next advent.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a clever way to do fewer books but still have the enjoyment. Thanks for sharing this idea, Rebekah.

Jane

says:

Hi Robin,

So great to find someone else who loves The Christmas Day Kitten–it’s one of my favorite James Herriot stories. We did the Book Advent Calendar this year and my family agreed that it’s a tradition that we’re going to continue. I wrote a post with reviews of the books we read. I’ll be adding some of the books mentioned here for next year!

http://actively-reading.squarespace.com/blog/2017/2/3/aftermath-of-the-book-advent-calendar

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jane,
Thank you for this great blog post and the detailed review of so many Christmas books!

I’ll add that we read The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements this year, and my short review is that it was okay. It has some good ideas about the difference between popularity and leadership, but wasn’t as good as other Andrew Clements books we’ve read.

Mehgan Brooke

says:

The past two years I’ve tried to read a Christmas or winter themed picture book every day of December leading up to Christmas with my boys. Somehow it always ends up getting put off until later or I completely forget about it until the boys are already asleep. This past Christmas I think I only read the books about 10 of the 24 days that I had planned to! BUT I had honestly never thought of wrapping all of the books and putting number tags on them all. The excitement of opening a Christmas book of the day would definitely ensure my boys wouldn’t let me forget! Thanks for the lovely tip! It’s so simple, I can’t believe it never occurred to me!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Mehgan. Next year should be especially literature full!

Kim

says:

Love this idea!

Cindy

says:

Great idea! I will remember this for next year:)

Laurie Hanson

says:

Love family reading time during advent.

Christine

says:

Love this idea! Sounds like a tradition we may be starting next year!

Nicole

says:

My son is love the advent books this year. It’s going to be a great tradition for my family!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for letting us know that this book advent has been a hit with your son, Nicole!

Meggen Loew

says:

We started a “12 days of Christmas” tradition this year and will have a different theme for 12 days. We have books to read, crafts/coloring pages and some times movies or special foods on these days. We have used books already in our Christmas collection and I was able to pick up a few new thisbyear to add to add to some of our days.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Meggen,
I love how you add in crafts, coloring pages, movies, food, and more! What sweet memories are must be making.

We set aside our large collection of Christmas books to pull out each December – I look forward to finding a few new ones on your list!

Stephanie

says:

I’ve always wanted to try this. Guess I better start collecting Christmas books!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Stephanie,
I imagine there will be after Christmas sales on Christmas books at book stores. Next week would be a good time to start collecting!

Erin

says:

Love this idea!!!!

Annette W

says:

What a fun way to show what a gift literature is!

Annette W

says:

Every Christmas our family reads each night from the Jesus Storybook Bible. As soon as dinner is over, we read a chapter and put a corresponding ornament on a little tree (they can be found online). My kids love it! They would really like this idea of unwrapping a book to read too! That may be our next before bedtime Christmas tradition!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Annette,
Your tradition sounds so beautiful!

Laura A

says:

What a great idea! I will have to do that next year with my kids. Thank you for sharing the idea!

Stefanie

says:

Wow – what a great list :) Thank you!

Audrey Slade

says:

I love this idea

Anita

says:

I love this idea! I wish I had started at the beginning of December. Maybe I will try it for January to make the cold winter months more fun!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a nice idea, Anita!

M Moore

says:

I love this idea. We might need to do just 12 days this year.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes! There is still time to start this tradition!

Jamie W.

says:

This is a great way to include all ages of family members! We have 2 and 10-year-old girls, so we are always looking for unique ways to include everyone (including ourselves)! We are loving AAS 1 and can’t wait to start the pre-reading level with our youngest! :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jamie,
This would be a lovely way to create warm memories between your two daughters! I see lots of photos of sweet book cuddles in your future!

Agy Fehr

says:

I am definitely going to do this with my children.

Angela Leggett

says:

My children enjoy reading through Christmas break and this would be a great way to help guide them to some classics.

Cheryl

says:

My state has a sunny, warm climate so I plan on taking my children to a different locale each day to read our books.

Katie Morgan

says:

We love to read A Christmas Carol every year!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katie,
I’ll be reading A Christmas Carol again this year, because one of my kids requested, “The one with the businessman dude that has spirits come at night.” ;D

Jaime B

says:

We’ve done this in the past- so fun! Our current tradition is observing advent with a Jesse tree. I just need to figure out where I put the ornaments!

Tara Bailey

says:

I definitely want to do this with my kiddos

Kathy Brennan

says:

Love this idea!

Rachel

says:

We love you guys. Thank you

LeAnn Elliott

says:

So creative! I really like your gift wrapping style!

Elle

says:

Wow, so cute and fun!!

Karisa

says:

This is such a great idea I’ve seen around. …but somehow I’d never thought to utilize the library. That helps so much!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Glad to help, Karisa!

Ashley

says:

<3 this idea!!

Samantha F.

says:

We’ve done this every year for the last 4 or 5 years! My kids love it, even though we use the same books every year. We just put them away after Christmas!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Samantha,
Thank you for letting us know that your kids love this, even though you use the same books year after year! I wondered about that, but I suppose the repetition is part of the tradition and fun.

Beth

says:

We do this every year too! Love finding 50 cent books at Savers during the year to add to our collection. And I re-wrap them before I store them for the next year. Makes it so much easier to just pull out and go.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Beth,
I love the idea of wrapping them before packing them away for next year. So organized!

Sarah

says:

My mother-in-law did this or my kiddos last year. It was fantastic and was an excellent way to build our library.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Awwww, what a wonderful grandma your kids have, Sarah! What a blessing.

Alice Ross

says:

What a great idea! Unwrapping the books builds suspense & increases interest. If you don’t number them it will surprise mom too. This could actually work any time of the year to add excitement.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I like the idea of not numbering, Alice! The surprise would be fun.

Nicole

says:

What great ideas for Advent! I try to do something special every year for my kids, to reinforce the spirit of the season, not just the fun of gifts.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I agree, Nicole!

Christy

says:

What a lovely Christmas tradition! Thanks for sharing this. :)

Jessica Hamer

says:

I absolutely love this idea!! Thabks for sharing!! I think I will implement it this year😃❤️🎄

Jen

says:

Great idea!

A Hughes

says:

This is an awesome idea!!! Thanks

Kelly

says:

We do this one! We don’t number them and let the kiddos pick one. They love it!

shelby

says:

What a wonderful way to spend chilly nights, snuggled up with our beautiful children. It will be so enjoyable watching them pick out library books for this special time together. It will be nice to download from the technology in our lives for awhile.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Well put, Shelby. Here’s wishing you lots of snuggles and cuddles and family togetherness this season!

Jessica Boenick

says:

Such a cute idea!!!!!

Whitney

says:

Love this idea!

Karen

says:

Super fun idea