Today I’m sharing a DIY Christmas Advent calendar tradition that we do in our house. It’s a perfect activity for kids to countdown the days until Christmas.
Christmas Advent Tradition
For Christians, Advent is the time of year when they prepare for the birth of Christ. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, various traditions are practiced at mass and at home.
Beginning in late November or early December, Advent includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. This year, Advent begins on December 2nd, and ends on December 24th, a total of 23 days.
Whether or not you follow Christian tradition, Advent calendars represent the countdown to Christmas. Most now begin on December 1st and end on December 24th.
From store-bought, cardboard calendars with a chocolate for each day, to an Advent calendar made of wine for adults (Yes, please!), the purpose is the same: celebrate a little each day in anticipation of Christmas.
Our Christmas Tradition
I began our tradition back in 2010 for Madison’s first Christmas. I wanted to do something fun that she could enjoy, even as an infant, so I decided we would open a wrapped children’s book each day leading up to Christmas.
My mother was a preschool teacher, and we were fortunate to inherit tons of children books. Lucky for us, many of these included Christmas books.
To prepare our countdown, I wrap up 24 books as part of decorating for Christmas. Beginning December 1st, and every night before bedtime, the kids open the next book, and we read the story as a family.
Now, Madison reads to us, which is wonderful!
In years past, I wrapped enough books to correspond with the number of days in Advent, and we opened them at random. I decided to make tags this year so that each book was numbered to correspond to the day, and to avoid any argument over which book to open.
I’ve also split the books between each child’s bedroom, and we read the book as a family each night before bed. It’s a fun bedtime ritual that we look forward to each year!
Download your own set of countdown tags by clicking on the image below.
I use bright white cardstock and decretive washi tape to attach the tags to the wrapped books, but you can also print onto sticker label paper, and cut out the tags that way. It’s up to you!
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A few of our favorite Christmas books are:
- Sneezy the Snowman
- God Bless our Christmas
- A Loud Winter’s Nap
- Santa Claus’, Funny Faces
- The Grinch that Stole Christmas
- There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed Some Snow
- Elf Pets
- Madeline’s Christmas
I’d love to know what some of your favorite Christmas books are. Share on Instagram with the hashtag #SWPBOOKS, or leave them in the comments. I’ll re-post them so we all help each other out this Christmas with book ideas!