Creating a Christmas Book Countdown

The countdown to Christmas is on!  Can’t you just feel the excitement in the air?  This time of year proves over and over that I am an absolute SUCKER for traditions.  

I’m pretty sure it was a combination of hard and fast traditions we had growing up and then becoming a mom myself.  Either way, holiday traditions are something I crave to give my son, knowing the memories we are building.  And with having a mom who has been a teacher, he didn’t stand a CHANCE when it came to our Christmas countdown tradition, ha!  I wanted to do something totally different when I became a mom, and something more than just a chocolate Advent calendar (which I loved as a kid, but eh, been there, done that).  So 4 years ago, we started our Christmas Countdown Reading Tree!

I spent several months in the fall searching high and low for good, QUALITY holiday books.  I slowly purchased them little by little.  And it’s taken several years to test out books and get them just right, and now I want to share this little tradition with you!  The best part?  Once you build your collection, you have them forever to use year after year.  Here’s how it works:

I wrap each book up with a small bow and a tag numbered #1-25.  On the last night of November, I lay them all out under our Christmas tree (if your tree isn’t up yet, feel free to pick any spot!).  When my son wakes up, he is always so excited to find that our Christmas Reading Countdown has begun!  Each night before bed, he gets to unwrap the book labeled with that day’s number and it is our holiday bedtime story.  He gets so very excited to unwrap the books each night.  Plus, it’s way more meaningful than a piece of candy (he might argue that point, but hey, moms are always right, lol).  

This is even an EXCELLENT idea to use with your Elf on a Shelf if you’re tired of coming up with daily ideas of what the little red guy can do.  Instead of hiding him every night, you can just have him “deliver” a book each day…GENIUS and easy-peasy idea.  You’re welcome, mama friend!

One thing to note is that I always save “Twas the Night Before Christmas” for book #24 and the Christmas Story for book #25 on Christmas morning.  I know that probably goes without saying, but just a note.

I’m so very excited for you to try this tradition for yourself.  To make this super easy, I’ve compiled a list below, completely with links, to all of the TOP family holiday books to help you get up and running yourself.  Hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment below if you’re trying this yourself.  Happy holidays!
  1. Polar Express
  2. How to Catch an Elf
  3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  4. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas
  5. The Crayon’s Christmas
  6. God Gave Us Christmas
  7. Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree
  8. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
  9. Berenstain Bears the Joy of Giving
  10. Llama Llama Jingle Bells
  11. Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas
  12. The Mitten
  13. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  14. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  15. Merry Christmas, Stinky Face
  16. Room for a Little One
  17. Snowmen at Christmas
  18. Frosty the Snowman
  19. How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?
  20. Construction Site on Christmas Night
  21. Merry Christmas, Peppa!
  22. Clifford’s Christmas
  23. Fly Guy’s Ninja Christmas
  24. Teeny, Tiny Santa
  25. I Love You Snow Much
  26. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell
  27. The Story of Christmas
  28. The Legend of St. Nicholas
  29. Madeline’s Christmas
  30. Thomas’ Night Before Christmas
  31. The Pups Save Christmas (Paw Patrol)
  32. The Night Before Christmas

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