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Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. As a Sunday school teacher and a mom with a heart full of love that should not come as a surprise to anyone. I’m also a mom who is always busy juggling job, family, and volunteer responsibilities. In fact, the juggle takes more effort as the holidays get closer. So much to do and so little time as they say. A few years ago, I realized that I was spending a ton of time preparing for Christmas (including buying gifts for the kids) and not really spending any time with them. I’m sure many of you can relate to this. Shopping, cooking, cleaning……….all so that your family can have a wonderful Christmas. I finally realized that what my family and I crave the most is time spent together.
Enjoy this fun way to count down to Christmas with your kids' favorite Christmas books. Click To Tweet
I set out to find an easy solution to this busy mom dilemma. My friend Nicole over at 365-ish Days of Pinterest shared a Reading Countdown to Christmas idea that I just loved and we decided to give it a try. It’s a simple concept and actually pretty easy to put together. I have also discovered that the reading countdown to Christmas is a way to keep kids reading during the Christmas season which is helpful for school. Let’s put some of that Christmas excitement to good use rather than have them drive us crazy with all of that extra energy.
Gather 24 to 25 Christmas books and wrap them up. The number depends on if you want to finish Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I didn’t go out and buy a bunch of new books. I gathered together what we had and borrowed some more. My mother-in-law is a teacher and a fellow book-lover so she is a wonderful resource for this project each year. You may have friends or family members that are able to help you too. You could even use library books or shop The Dollar Tree. I put the wrapped books in a basket and each night the kids take turns picking out a book to unwrap and then we snuggle together and read it right before bed. No matter how busy I am, I like to stop and take these few minutes to enjoy snuggle time with my children. This simple practice helps to keep my holiday prep anxiety down and keeps me focused on what matters most.
When putting together your Christmas collection be on the lookout for a variety of books. We have found that it makes our time together even more enjoyable. We love beautiful pop up books which add an artistic and even a tactile appeal to our time together. The kids’ Godmother has added her loving stamp on our tradition. She has given the kids a few Hallmark recorded books. She records herself reading these stories and on the nights we unwrap the Hallmark books, we get very excited that Aunt Jenny is reading to us that night. On the other nights, the kids and I take turns reading. They get reading practice and they also get to hear books read to them. If you know anything about learning to read……..you know that all of this is very good for them.
If you are looking to add books to your collection, Amazon has a pretty large collection……and with Prime many will arrive in just two days. I’ve listed some of our favorite books below, including the Hallmark recordable book as Affiliate links.
The Polar Express is one of my favorites because of its beautiful illustrations. The kids and I giggle so much at How Santa Got His Job. How The Grinch Stole Christmas is just awesome poetry. I LOVE to read it. As a former ballet student, I love the story of the Nutcracker and hope to pass that love on to my daughter. My kids loved the Berenstain Bears as toddlers and continue to love them as they are getting older. The Littlest Christmas Tree is a new story to me, but it makes my heart feel so good. I make sure that it is added in to our collection each year.
Favorite Christmas Books
If you are looking to add more snuggle time to your Christmas countdown, this is a perfect solution. I encourage you to give it a try and then come back and let me know how much you love it. I’m sure the smiles on your children’s faces will prove that they are craving time with you as much as you are craving time with them. Kids grow up fast. Make the most of the time you have with them.
What are your favorite Christmas books? Which books should we add to our collection? What are others ways that you celebrate the season of Advent as a family?