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.
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!
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 2, so that means you’ll need 23 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.
Now it’s time to display your Christmas book 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.
How you display them is up to you. Be creative and make it fun!
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.
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!
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.