Growing up, I remember our advent calendar held a small candy cane for each day until Christmas. My brother, sister and I would eagerly take turns removing the candies (even though peppermint isn’t my favorite). We have a traditional advent calendar in our house now; each day the boys remove a different figure from a numbered pocket and velcro it onto the manger scene. Since Thanksgiving, my older son has been asking me if it’s December 1st yet, so he can start creating the scene.
Because this is such a special time of year, I’m always interested in new ways to count down to Christmas. My friend Nancy recently shared a good one: a Christmas book a day. Here’s how it works. Scour your children’s book collection for 25 books about Christmas. Don’t have 25 books about Christmas? Neither do I, so I also included books about winter and snow. For example, I include The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. You can also visit your local library to supplement your collection. Just make sure to keep those at the front of the pile so they don’t become overdue! Also consider that booksellers may have Christmas books on sale during the holiday season.
Once you’ve amassed your pile, find a nice basket to hold all your books, and put it in a special spot, for example under your tree, by your fireplace or on a side table in the family room. Then it’s time to start wrapping! Pull out the wrapping paper, ribbon and bows, wrap each book and place it in the basket. (Note: You could use your recycled Christmas cards in lieu of bows here.) There’s nothing children love more during the holidays than unwrapping a present. Designate a special time each day (first thing in the morning or bedtime, for example), and let each child take turns unwrapping a “present.” Then you can all enjoy reading the book together. What a nice holiday tradition!