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Advent Book Countdown

Since Anna and Taylor were little, we have individually wrapped our Christmas books as an Advent book countdown.  (We used to wrap them in wrapping paper when Taylor was about 2-3 and when he loved playing with scotch tape, but wrapping this many gifts was pretty time intensive so I bought gift bags at the dollar store that we now use each year.) It is now a quick process to get our box of Christmas books out, drop them into the bags that are numbered for each day, and place some tissue paper on top.  Then we line the stairs with the bags for a festive Christmas display.  Beginning on December 1, the children pick a “present” for the day, unwrap it and then we read it together for our bedtime story.   I made sure to have the Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of The Christmas Legend  book on December 6th for St. Nicolas Day and used the pop-up book of The Night Before Christmas  on December 24th.  

This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions that we have because it helps me to carve out time to sit on the couch with the kids and have uninterrupted time to read some classics of the season.  I need these kinds of built-in pauses with the holiday hustle and bustle swirling around us all. 

We also have an added bonus that Anna and Taylor get to hold our bunny Poppy while we read too. Poppy is going to be a very well read rabbit by the end of Advent. We pulled The Best Christmas Pageant Ever out of the bag for December 1st last night and we all had some good belly laughter as we dove into that book together.  (Our list of books is at the end of this post…)

If you don’t have very many holiday books, go to the library and check them out. These are just as much fun to unwrap and enjoy! 

Below is our list of some favorites that have been a part of our Christmas collection at one time or another:  
(With so many books, each bag has 2-3 books in them…)  
Christmas/Winter Books
Lift the flap nativity
Tomie de Paola’s The First Christmas – a festive pop up book
Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck 
The Hat by Jan Brett 
The Mitten by Jan Brett 
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans 
The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
A Wish for Wings that Work by Berkeley Breathed
Skating with the Bears by Andrew Breakspeare
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Littlest Angel by Paul Micich 
I Spy Christmas – A book of picture riddles by Jean Marzollo
Mary’s First Christmas by Walt Wangerin 
Santa Mouse by Michael Brown 
The Black Snowman by Phil Mendez
The Christmas Troll by Eugene Peterson 
You are my Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love 
The Tale of the Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
Father and Son by Geraldine McCaughrean (one of my absolute favorites!) 
Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkeley Breathed 
The Heart of Christmas by Susan Florence
Merry Christmas Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish 
Frosty the Snowman by Jack Rollins
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats 
Robert Sabuda Christmas 
The Gift of Magi by O. Henry 
Mortimer’s Christmas Mouse by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman 
God Gave us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren 
Olive the other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold 
The Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah Hautzig
The Small One by Alex Walsh 
Little Critter’s the Night Before Christmas by Mercer Mayer 
Little’ Angels’ Book of Christmas by Joan Walsh Anglund 
The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore – a pop up by Robert Sabuda 
The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet illustrated by Diane Goode 
Barbie’s Nutcracker Little Golden Book 
Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans 
Peek and Find Christmas Story 
When Santa Turned Green by Victoria Perla 
Christmastime by Sandra Boynton 
Caleb Crosses the Country by Dan Taylor and Damon Taylor 
Counting Christmas by Karen Katz
The Night of the Child by Robert Benson 
Winnie the Pooh’s Christmas 
Thomas’ Christmas Delivery 
Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard Schneider 
Saint Nicholas by Julie Stiegemeyer (read on December 6th- St. Nicolas’ Day) 
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Little Critter’s Christmas book by Mercer Mayer 
From God with Love by Mack Thomas 
The Legend of the Christmas Rose by William Hooks 
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado 
The Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
Tomie de Paola's 'Legend of the Poinsettia'
Baker's Dozen (a legend of St. Nicolas) 
The Nativity' illustrated by Julie Vivas
The Give-Away by Ray Buckley 
The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman
The Quiet Christmas Book by Deborah Underwood 


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