I’ve always liked the idea of an Advent Calendar–a little daily ritual to countdown to Christmas. I did not, however, like the idea of chocolates or sweets. Kids are jacked up enough this time of year, no? Then I thought about little trinkets or knick-knacks, but um, no. Pretty sure we just went around with a trash bag to clean up all those little trinkets that have TAKEN OVER OUR HOUSE. So when I came across some ideas on Pinterest involving Christmas books, I knew I had to blend the ideas together.
Coming up with 24 books can be expensive. Thankfully, I could pull from my teacher collection, but not everything I owned was appropriate for Matty, so I could only come up with about 10 books. Add that to a few books that Matty got as gifts last year and this year, and I was still short. So I hit Paperback Swap and Amazon’s 4 for 3 deals. I was still a couple short, so I decided that this year, they didn’t all need to be holiday-themed. I mean, he’s only 14 months old, he doesn’t know the difference. I considered wrapping up the same 12 books twice…ha! He was just gifted some hand-me-down books from his cousins, so I wrapped those up, too.
Then I whipped up a little label to help with the countdown. I tried to order the books with the ones he could “read” independently (board books or interactive books) first so that he would have those all season, and of course ended with Twas the Night Before Christmas for Christmas Eve. If you’d like the labels, there’s a link to download at the end of the post!
Our 2012 Countdown to Christmas Books
A HOME-MADE GIFT! POST TO COME…
I wouldn’t classify all of these books as “quality”, aka Caldecott nominees. But, for a young toddler who will probably teeth on the spines, they’re great. And of course, the books I think are the worst are the ones he loves the most, so that’s what matters.
Some of the books are definitely above his level, but as long as it has to do with cats, dogs, snowmen or has the word “No” in it, he’s set. Having a stash of lift-the-flap, slide-and-find, and small board books are a must this time of year–easy and engaging to take along to holiday activities or long rides in the car. For older kids, sticker books or coloring books could easily be thrown in for a special surprise.
And the list does contain 6 books we don’t own…yet…I may still try to come across them for this year or check them out of the library and switch them out with the non-holiday books I added. If nothing else, I have a start on my list for next year!
I think this is a great tradition that will definitely be a yearly thing around here.