Creating a Christmas Book Advent Calendar is a delightful way to build cherished family memories during the holiday season. It combines the joy of reading with the anticipation of Christmas, offering a cozy and heartwarming tradition for families.
Here are some ideas on how you can set up your Christmas Book Advent Calendar:
1. Selecting the Books:
Begin with Books You Own:
Start by gathering books from your own collection. Consider including books about the birth of Christ or those with winter themes. For younger children, picture books with colorful illustrations are excellent choices.
Borrow from the Library:
Before Thanksgiving, visit your local library to find books that fit the holiday theme. Make sure to use the library books earlier in the month, so you can return them and allow others to enjoy them.
Thrift Store and Garage Sales:
Scour secondhand stores or garage sales for hidden gems. You can often find classic holiday tales or unique books at a fraction of the cost.
2. Wrapping the Books:
Wrapping the books adds an element of surprise and anticipation. Consider using festive wrapping paper or even plain brown paper bags that your children can decorate with drawings or stamps.
3. Displaying the Books:
Find a suitable location to display the wrapped books. You can use a Christmas basket, arrange them across the mantelpiece, or stack them in the shape of a Christmas tree for a decorative touch.
4. Choosing the Books:
Involve your children in the process. You can either let them take turns choosing which book to open each day or number the packages to correspond with the days of the month, creating a countdown to Christmas.
5. Saving a Special Book:
Reserve a particularly special book for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. It could be a timeless classic or a book with a heartwarming message that reinforces the spirit of the holiday.
6. Add some related activities:
For a surprise, add an occasional activity that is related to a book. For example, if one of the books is about making gingerbread cookies, set aside a day for a family baking session. Another idea is to include special coupons within some of the wrapped books. It may be a coupon for an outing to look at Christmas lights or a hot cocoa and cookies party with friends.
A Christmas Book Advent Calendar is a heartwarming tradition that combines reading, anticipation, and family activities to make the holiday season even more special. It’s a wonderful way to create lasting memories while celebrating the magic of Christmas.
Books for Your Christmas Book Advent Calendar
OCEANetwork board members and families in our Facebook group have shared the titles to some of their favorite Christmas/winter books. [Note: As always, read book reviews before committing to a book to see if will be a good fit for your family. Online resources like (referral) Exodus Books and Goodreads are helpful sites for reviews.]
Referral links used below.
- Snowflake Bentley, Jacqueline Briggs Martin
- Ten Ways to Hear Snow, Cathy Camper
- Where’s the Baby King?, Karen King
- Over and Under the Snow, Kate Messner
- Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Susan Wojciechowski
- An Orange for Frankie, Patricia Polacco
- Story of Holly and Ivy, Rumer Godden
- The Very First Christmas Story, Paul Maier
- We Believe in Christmas, Karen Kingsbury
- The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale, Angela Hunt
- The Christmas Promise Storybook, Alison Mitchell
- The Good News of Christmas, Rousseaux Brasseur
- Humphrey’s First Christmas, Carol Heyer
- Construction Site: Merry and Bright, Sherri DuskeyRinker
- The Legend of the Candy Cane, Lori Walburg
- The Christ Child from the gospels according to Matthew and Luke (RSV) with drawings by Maud & Miska Petersham
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson • A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories, Louisa May Alcott
- Jotham’s Journey, Tabitha’s Travels, Ishtar’s Odyssey, & Bartholomew’s Passage, Arnold Ytreeide
- Treasures of the Snow, Patricia St. John
- Family Under the Bridge, Natalie Carlson
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
- The Life of Our Lord, Charles Dickens
- The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans
- God with Us: The Miracle of Christmas, John MacArthur, Jr.
- The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans
Other recommended holiday books
- Familyman’s Christmas Treasury, Todd Wilson (audiobook, but soooo good)
- Handel’s Messiah Family Advent Reader, Donna Payne, Frances Lenzo (Advent reader with CD of portions of Handel’s Messiah)
- Pilgrim Stories, Margaret Pumphrey (Thanksgiving)
- Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford (Thanksgiving)
What are YOUR Favorite Christmas/Winter Books and Ideas?
Comment below and share with us about your favorite Christmas or winter books. Have you done a Christmas book countdown like this with your family before? We’d love to hear your tips and ideas!
Written by Dorothy Karman. Dorothy and her husband, Dick, began homeschooling in 1983. They enjoyed homeschooling both their children through high school and came to realize the importance of Christian home education as a tool for discipling the next generation. They founded OCEANetwork in 1986 to encourage and equip other homeschool families and to protect their homeschool freedoms. They were also founding members of the National Alliance of Christian Home Education Leadership, a national organization that serves state and provincial homeschool leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2016 they were given the Gregg Harris award by HSLDA in recognition of their service as a couple to homeschoolers in Oregon and nationwide. Best of all, their greatest joy is found in being grandparents to four homeschooled grandchildren (so far) who are being brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.