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It’s already December and Christmas is in the air! We’ve got our Christmas tree up, our lights are shining outside, and our stockings are hung waiting for St. Nick to visit us in a few weeks. Today I’m going to share a new tradition we started with the kids here at Smart School House. Do you do an advent calendar? This year we decided to do something more meaningful for the 12 days of Christmas. I can’t wait to show you our Christmas book countdown and how I made it less expensive and more meaningful than you might expect!
Christmas Book Countdown
We just had parent teacher conferences and, as usual, they reminded us how important it is for our kids to continue to read (and be read to) at home. We have a lot of books at home, so there are plenty of books to choose from. So, I didn’t want to turn this idea of a Christmas book countdown into a 25 day event. Books can be pricey! Plus, finding 25 Christmas books that we don’t already have was really hard.
We are celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with a Christmas book countdown using new, old, and secondhand books! That’s right – not every book you see in this stack is new but my kids are just as excited about it.
It is so unique to see them incredibly eager to unwrap a book they know might be one that’s been on their bookshelf for years. It’s all about the anticipation and surprise! Plus, it’s about the family focused time of sitting together at night and reading a special Christmas story.
Our 12 days of Christmas book countdown tradition is not about spending money on our kids, it’s about spending time together.
A Christmas Tradition Idea
I purchased only 4 brand new books. Then, I went to the secondhand book store and purchased 4 used Christmas books for just a few dollars. Is it just me or are used books special because the wear and tear on the pages have an untold story of their own? How many times has that book been read? How many kids have held it? The mystery makes the books more lovable. Finally, I collected 4 of our own Christmas books that we already own from my kids’ bookshelves.
I found some pretty wrapping paper and ribbon then stacked the books from biggest to smallest. That way, the collection of new vs. old is totally random. They will open the book on top first and work their way through the stack. I cannot express how heartwarming it is to see the kids more excited about sharing a Christmas book (some books they know are ones they’ve had for years) over an indulgent advent calendar covered in toys. We will still do the chocolate Advent calendar, but we think this new tradition is one they will remember!
Looking for more Christmas Ideas for Kids?
- Wash Cloth Reindeer
- Ornament Filled with Hot Chocolate
- Paper Plate Lollipops
- Giant Christmas Ornaments
- Mason Jar Lid Snow Globe
Keep in mind: if you cannot find enough Christmas books at a secondhand store or in your own collection, any special book will work for this Christmas book countdown! What makes a book special? That’s up to YOU! Any book that tells a fun, unique, meaningful, or great story that you want to read to the kids should be considered. Your kids won’t mind, trust me:) They just want time with you in a cozy spot somewhere at home reading them a story they just got to unwrap from under the tree.
If you wrapped them in reusable fabric bags it would also reduce the environmental footprint. Or recycled gift bags???
What a really lovely idea.