This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
Several years ago I ran across a Christmas tradition that has now found its way into our home every Advent season. You’re probably familiar with Advent calendars—some have chocolate or other trinkets inside, and each day in December you uncover a new surprise or treat. There are ones you can buy and use up each year and there are also reusable ones that you can fill with treats yourself. But my very favorite Advent calendar of all involves Christmas books, and my kids love it, too. I’m going to share how I make our Christmas book Advent calendar so you can see how easy and inexpensive it is! Maybe you’ll decide to use it in your home this year.
How to Make a Christmas Book Advent Calendar
Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your own Christmas book Advent calendar:
I made a new set of number cards this year that you can download for free! I printed them on cardstock and laminated them so that we can use them again next year, but you could also just print them on regular paper.
Now, you might be wondering how acquiring 24 Christmas books is going to turn out to be inexpensive. Well, buying books isn’t cheap, but even if you don’t already own any Christmas books at all, you can get them for free at my favorite place—the library! This year I got all of our books for our Advent calendar from the library so we can have some fresh options.
(Note: You might be wondering about library due dates. I try to get all of our books as close to the end of November as I can so that we only have to have them checked out for about 3 weeks, which is our library limit, although you can renew if no one else wants the books.)
Once you have all your books, all you have to do is wrap them! It’s something that I always feel is going to take me a long time to do, but it honestly only takes around 30 minutes. Then you have a big stack of books that are all ready to go under the Christmas tree on December 1.
We don’t normally put presents under the tree until Christmas Eve, so the kids think opening a present every day from December 1 to December 24 is extra fun.
Another obstacle to this idea is even knowing where to start in finding 24 Christmas books. I’m pretty sure that there are an almost infinite numbers of books about Christmas, and I don’t know them all, but I’ve started a list that I go back to each year when I’m gathering books. And to make it easier for you, I’ve got a printable Christmas books PDF that you can print out and take to the library with you.
In addition to the list, I’ve also made a spreadsheet that I’ll be continually updating as I run across Christmas books. You can’t edit the spreadsheet, but you can copy it and make changes to it if you decide to adopt this tradition. I’m also including Amazon links in case you decide you want to purchase the book instead of getting it from the library.
You’ll see on the spreadsheet that I’m noting whether the book contains mentions of Santa and/or mentions of Jesus, the Nativity, etc. Some people will only want books that are religious in nature, while others want a mix. And there are actually lots of books that don’t mention either, surprisingly! I’m hopeful that this spreadsheet will help you make decisions about what books you’d like to include in your Christmas book Advent calendar.
And as always, let me know in the comments if you plan to use this idea, and if so, what your favorite Christmas books are!