The holiday season is such a great time to spend time as a family and create traditions, especially for little ones. I love the tradition of Advent calendars. It builds excitement and answers their constant questioning of ‘when is Christmas?’ This year, I’m avoiding the calendars with small gifts or candy involved since I have three kiddos and don’t want to resort to three calendars (or tears every night in December.) My search for this year’s calendar led me to Rebecca and her blog called Simple as That!
She has this great Advent activity idea that I adopted for my home this year. It’s a Christmas book countdown and she has even posted free printable numbers. Certainly stop on over to Simple as That! to check her ideas out.
We are big readers at our house so we have acquired quite the collection of winter and holiday themed books. In order to keep them fresh and our book shelves from overflowing I pack many of them away each year with the Christmas decorations.
This year I laid all our books out on the floor and realized I have all the 24 books needed for the Christmas book countdown idea. I even have three new books sent to me recently by our friends at Sky Pony Press which will be a cool surprise for the kids! (Read more on these titles below.) Although to be honest, they are just as excited about the books we’ve been reading together at Christmas since they were babies.
With the help of my 7 year old son, I individually gift wrapped all the books. I printed out the numbered 1-24 tags and attached them to the books. I found a cute container that we’ve been using to hold cold drinks at summer BBQs and recast it for the holidays with some festive ribbon. Then I filled it with the wrapped, numbered books to sit near our fireplace in the living room. Each night in December one of my kiddos will get to unwrap that night’s book (we will need to take turns for this which could still mean some tears!) But everyone will be happy when we sit down and read our holiday story that night. I just love the idea that this tradition is making use of things we already have and encouraging family time and reading.
So, the newest books to our Christmas collection are from Sky Pony Press, and imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story written by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Amanda Brack will be a holiday favorite for all the Lego lovers in my family. The text is the class poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and the illustrations are Lego brick creations. My favorite page is Santa in his sleigh pulled by reindeers over a village all built out of Legos. I think my son may dream in Legos too so this is perfect J
The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story written by Anne Margaret Lewis and illustrated by Aaron Zenz is inspired by the classic The Runaway Bunny. In this story rather than the bunny running away from his mom bunny on adventures, its Santa heading out on his own without Mrs. Claus. The adventures and the pictures are pretty funny especially when Santa decides to rock climb on Mount Rushmore and walk the Great Wall of China.
Tough Cookie written by Kate Louise and illustrated by Grace Sandford is the newest take on the holiday gingerbread man story. One of my kids’ favorite books is the Gingerbread Cowboy written by Janet Squires and Holly Berry, so I’m eager to introduce them to a new gingerbread man view. In this story, this gingerbread man is different because the baker forgot to add the ginger in his mix. He can’t be sold in the bakery and stirs up lots of trouble. The baker eventually teaches him that his ingredients don’t make him who he is – that it’s his character that defines him. A really cool story with adorable candy-filled illustrations that is soon to be another holiday favorite for us.