Countdown to Christmas with Children’s Books

This year we are counting down to Christmas with Christmas children’s books! The idea is that every day leading up to Christmas we unwrap one book and read it together.

We have a basket in our living room with the countdown-to-Christmas books. I wrapped the books simply. This year I wrapped them mostly in packing paper from Amazon boxes. Last time I used newspaper.

We started the countdown from December 1 so each book has the date of the day it is to be opened and the name of the child whose turn it is to open the book (so as to reduce the number of arguments about whose turn it is.) But you could start the countdown anytime. You could make it for advent or just for the week before Christmas. You could do this any time of year, really: counting down to a special vacation (a Disney book a day before seeing Mickey, a beach book a day before a trip to the shore, etc), during Lent, leading up to a birthday or a graduation.

This year I happened to score big at the Whitehall Township Public Library‘s used book sale. Someone had donated an entire box of children’s Christmas books! There were about 20 of them in great shape so I bought them all (5 for $1!). Then I rounded out our countdown with some books we already had at home and also a Christmas puzzle that was at the book sale as well.


wrapping Christmas books
Not all the books are keepers, but some of them are. I’m looking forward to the Tomie DePaola Strega Nona Christmas book.


My husband will open the book for Christmas Day. Each year he reads us the Christmas story from the Bible before we open our gifts. At the book sale was a beautifully illustrated book that was the Christmas story straight from Scripture!


countdown to Christmas with Children's books
The simply wrapped Christmas books ready to go. Also, the 3D Christmas puzzle straight from the seventies!


We are all enjoying the books so far. Not all of them are keepers, but we will enjoy them for the season and pass them along when we are finished.

What children’s Christmas books are your favorites? Do you have a fun way that your family counts down to Christmas?



12 thoughts on “Countdown to Christmas with Children’s Books

  1. What a great idea!!! This looks like the perfect thing to do on a driving holiday… Just waiting for those book packages to arrive and will get started. Thanks for the idea! 🙂 The kids are loving the Shoe Box by Francine Rivers at the moment, one of our favorite Christmas books.

      1. I didn’t know about it either and so glad I came across it! She wrote little novellas that I suspect would be suitable for teens that are usually compiled nowadays, called Lineage of Grace and Sons of Encouragement. Not specifically targeted to teens but I think they would be great reads 🙂

  2. Rachel, (love your name btw!), I LOVE this idea!!! So clever!
    And what a great find! Gotta love good deals like that. 😉

    I’m definitely sharing this one!

  3. This is something I’m doing/planning to do with my boys. They are 2.5 and we are slowly building our Christmas book collection. Once I get to 24, we will do the wrapping bit. We can still get away with it now, lol – but I’m hoping to add to our collection so it can be a full countdown! 🙂

      1. Thank you, Rachel!
        As an almost empty nester, when I come across wonderful ideas for raising children, etc., instead of allowing the feeling of regret to linger…wishing I had done that with my family…I am collecting ideas for my grown children to use in their own families one day!
        And with this Christmas book idea, there is an opportunity to bless a young mother by actually providing the wrapped stack of books!
        A favorite Christmas book in our family is “The Legend of the Candy Cane” by Lori Walburg.
        Merry Christmas!!!

      2. What a fabulous idea!! Thank you for sharing! I’m sure any mom would be thrilled to receive a box of wrapped books to read with their kids. Thanks for that idea!

        It’s been a long time since I read The Legend of the Candy Cane. Good suggestion!

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