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Yesterday I checked another Christmas tradition off my list, our book advent calendar.  I started this tradition years ago with my oldest daughter, and it quickly became something the kids started asking for ever year once the Christmas tree went up.  I’m not complaining, you’ll frequently hear the phrase ‘read everyday you eat’ if you hang around our house long enough.

It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas here up in Minnesota yet, the high temperatures are in the upper 40’s/low 50’s this week!  It sure makes the walks up to the bus stop pleasant, however it does make it difficult to imagine Christmas will be here in 26 short days with the lack of snow, and cold weather.  Over the weekend I even saw a fisherman putting his boat IN the lake for some fishing, crazy!

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Here’s what you’ll need to pull this project off: a container large enough to hold the books (mine is red and from the One Spot at Target), wrapping paper or newspaper (I recycle the Thanksgiving Day paper), tape, scissors, marker, 24 Christmas/winter themed books.

I know what you’re thinking, how does she have 24 Christmas or winter themed books?  That my friends is a mystery to me too.  I’m fairly certain that they multiply while we sleep, ha!  Maybe you have a book about stars, types of trees, or the 4 seasons.  If you can somehow link it to something that has to do with the holiday or winter, use it!  If you’re coming up short head over to your local library and checkout some fun new books for the project.  Our library always pulls out seasonal books and displays them in the Children’s area.  If you can’t find them, ask a librarian, they’ll be happy to help!

Once you’ve gathered your books take a look at them and see if there is a certain order you’d like your children to open them in.  We always open The Night Before Christmas by, Clement Clarke Moore on Christmas Eve and read it before bed, for example, so it is always opened last and marked with the number 24.  Also, my kids take turns doing our ‘Christmas things’ in the order of youngest to oldest, so I made sure that on the youngest’s days she was opening the board books.  For the twins, who are in Kindergarten, I selected some books that they could easily read on their own like Pete the Cat Snow Daze by, James Dean.  For the 8 year old who is starting to ask a lot of questions about Santa I picked longer books and books like Santa Knows by, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith.  I’ve provided a complete list of the books I used this year below.

Once you’ve decided on the order of the books, start wrapping and numbering them directly on the paper with a marker.  Instead of wrapping them in wrapping paper (which would look super cute!), I recycle the Thanksgiving Day paper that we always purchase and save the wrapping paper for gifts.

If you are using library books, you may want to have them occur earlier in the month so you are able to return them before their due date.  Once wrapped, place all the books into a container to keep them together and place them under the tree.  All you have to do now is wait until December 1st to start unwrapping and reading!

Don’t worry, I didn’t wrap all of their Christmas/winter books, they still have plenty to read while they patiently wait for December 1st to roll around.

Do you have a fun advent tradition at your house?  I’d love to hear about it!

Book list:

Biscuit’s Snowy Day by, Alyssa Capucilli

That’s Not Santa! by, Leonard Kessler

The Christmas Penguin by, Mary Packard

Santa Knows by, Cynthia & Greg Leitich Smith

The Story of Christmas by, Patricia Pingry

Pete the Cat Snow Daze by, James Dean

The Tiny Christmas Elf by, Sharon Peters

The Sweet Smell of Christmas by, Patricia Scarry

Counting Christmas by, Karen Katz

Flip & Flop by, Dawn Apperley

The Snowy Day by, Ezra Jack Keats

Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama by, Anna Dewdney

Gingerbread Party – no author, published by Cleaver Factory

The Ninjabread Man by, CJ Leigh

Snow Day by, Patricia Lakin

Sadie & the Snowman by, Allen Morgan

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer: Santa’s Big Day by, Character Arts

Ten Gingerbread Men by, Ruth Galloway

Snowmen at Night by, Caralyn Buehner

Franklin’s Christmas Gift by, Paulette Bourgeois

Stable in Bethlehem by, Joy N. Hulme

The Berenstain Bears’ Meet Santa Bear by, Stan & Jan Berenstain

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by, Dr. Seuss

The Night Before Christmas by, Clement Clarke Moore

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