Hurry up! Christmas is coming! Yep, or Hanukkah or Kwanza or New Year or a birthday or …… Here is a simple idea to infuse the holiday spirit by slowing down and adding new story every night until the Big Day. Add in books about the story of Christmas, nativity to match Advent or have fun with the twelve days. But wait, it’s already December? No worries, you can make this countdown ‘calendar’ big or small.
The Idea: Wrap up 25 (or 24 or 12 or whatever) books individually, labeling each with corresponding number 1 through 25. Then open one package every night, reading a new story and re-reading past nights stories until you reach your goal. you can bet that the Night Before Christmas is wrapped up in package 24…. but other than that I don’t remember which book is wrapped up for what night and every year we can do it a little different.
The Set Up: I searched used book stores high and low for Christmas/Holiday books. I ended up with a mix of some wintery stories (think Polar Express, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, If Its Snowy and You Know It Clap your Paws), board books (Five Busy Elves, Guinea Pig Nativity [contain your jealousy], 12 Dogs of Christmas), pop up Christmas stories and some classics (the Grinch, Bernstein Bears). However, what I am most excited about it that this countdown will continue when we get to Grandma’s House. Grandma found our childhood Christmas books (Yay! Pokey Puppy, Babar, Christmas Kitten!). I sent her the numbers for the days we will be home so she can wrap and attach, with the only set one being the Night Before Christmas.
The Vision: Almost all other books in our house will be put away for the holiday season (save for a few in the event of an ’emergency’) and the tot will open a package each night for a new story and fun re-reading the recent books. As he gets older or new books come out, we can cycle them in and out. I am excited to connect this to his Grandparents and something from my childhood too.
The Supplies: Can you say brown paper packages tied up with string (and a number)? The number of books for the number of days you want to countdown towards, wrapping paper and some number tags. I made my tags out of last year’s Holiday cards and a piece or two of card stock. But you could just as easily use stickers or just a big marker or go all rogue and don’t have any numbers (but then its not really a countdown – its just fun).
What are some of your favorite Holiday Books?