For my family, the excitement and magic that we create around the family traditions that we have leading up to Christmas are arguably better than Christmas itself! Somewhere early on in my journey as a parent of young children, I learned about the “Book Advent Calendar tradition.” My family has enjoyed this tradition the last 3 years and my kids are already asking about it for this year! It warms my book lady heart to instill this love of reading in my kids and to refresh our library each and every year with new books while treasuring old favorites as we countdown to Christmas Day. Read on to learn about how you can start this tradition for your family!
Decide your time frame.
The traditional suggested time frame for a Book Advent Calendar is 12 Days or 25 Days of Christmas just as you might do another advent calendar tradition! But this is YOUR family’s tradition, so do whatever time frame works best for you! And as your holiday book collection builds, you can increase the time frame year after year. You may also want to consider how many children you have. I have two children, ages 7 and 3 and so the way we set it up, I’ve chosen 25 days for our time frame and my kids take turns on who opens a Christmas book each night leading up to Christmas morning.
How to start this tradition on the cheap.
I’m willing to bet that you have some seasonal titles in your home library already! Spend some time hunting for these titles and pulling them out of your collection. Each year, you can set these books aside and wrap them up for your Book Advent Calendar tradition and consider adding just a few each year to replace any they have aged out of! Every year, we pack up our seasonal titles and set them aside to use again the next year. This creates interest, novelty, and magic around the holiday season!! And there’s nothing to say that your entire book advent calendar has to be seasonal titles. You could pull other titles that are special to your family to set aside and wrap for this tradition. To acquire “new to your family” titles inexpensively to add to your Book Advent Calendar, you could even check out FB marketplace, buy/sell/trade sites, resale shops, or Goodwill.
Create novelty surrounding this tradition.
Part of the novelty of this tradition is the joy your children will have when they unwrap a book a day leading up to Christmas! You’ll need to plan ahead! After you decide your timeframe for your book advent calendar and have your books set aside that you’re going to use, spend some time wrapping up the books. If you have multiple children participating in the tradition, consider using different wrapping paper or tags for each child. You might even consider numbering the wrapped books to follow a certain sequence so that they have more time in the month to enjoy their Christmas activity books, for example. I love to plan so that we read a Nativity book on Christmas Eve. I like to stack up our books in the shape of a Christmas tree for the children to discover on December 1st when our tradition begins. Consider designating a certain time of day to visit your book stack with your children and cuddle up with and enjoy their new holiday books. Store the opened books in an easily accessible basket to read and reread seasonal favorites in your cozy spot together all month long.
How to acquire Usborne and Kane Miller books for your book advent calendar.
I may be a biased book lady, but I’m of the opinion that not all books are created equal and I truly value the amazing quality of Usborne and Kane Miller books. They are some of the most treasured books in our home and our special seasonal titles delight my children year after year through our Book Advent Calendar holiday tradition. There are a variety of ways to get your Usborne and Kane Miller books inexpensively:
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