Looking For Advent Calendar Inspiration?
December 1st is sneaking up on us quickly, and with it the countdown to Santa! One of this little family’s top 10 Christmas traditions is the advent calendar. We have tried a few of the more conventional countdowns, with chocolate, and small toys, but far and away, our family favorite is most definitely the book-ish variety!
While snuggling up with a good book at bed-time is always a much-love ritual, at Christmas it takes on a whole new dimension. There is something about pulling out those Christmas books and Santa stories from years past and diving into them again…remembering the year they joined the family, and watching the challenging books get easier over time. Of course, the added excitement of getting a present to open each night for 24 days doesn’t hurt either!
This year I vow to do things differently…and I have found some great inspiration for getting the wrapping done ahead of time. Check out these wonderfully creative ideas out of the blogosphere, and get wrapping!
Enjoying Life with 4 Kids has inspired me to try something new with our Book Countdown this year. Shannon has matched a Christmas movie, activity and treat to every book for her family’s 24-day countdown! Even better, she provides a great tutorial and a list of each theme!
Jackie, at My Little Bookcase, has an adorable idea for displaying your Christmas Countdown, as well as some great advice on organizing your book advent. She also has fun book lists, and some other creative book-related activities for Christmas, including a `Make Your Own Family Advent Book`! Love that idea!
Jaime, over at Frogs, Snails, & Puppy Dog Tails, shows us just how simple it can be! No need to get all fancy shmancy! The kids really are unlikely to care what color the paper is as they tear it off and toss it aside! She also provides a great list of Christmas Books to get you started.
Over at Here Comes The Girls Rebecca wowed me once again with her creative flair with this sweet Christmas Countdown Frosty the Snowman style! Even better, this little fellow not only has a special Christmas book for each night in December, but is topped off with a collection of Christmas movies! Plus, watching Frosty shrink from day to day would be a little amusing too, I must admit! Is that wrong?!
I know it kind of poor etiquette to post more than one idea from a blogger on a single post, but how could I not? Rebecca, please forgive me! This Christmas Countdown from Here Come the Girls is absolutely beautiful yet so very very simple! All you need is green and gold Christmas wrap and pretty star ornament for the top. Easy Peasy! Rebecca has also included a great list of books to get you on your way.
This idea from Over The Big Moon is another one I adore – so simple yet so stunning. All you need is plain white paper, and a quick raid of your Christmas ribbon and fabric stash. Are they not gorgeous in their simplicity? You will also find a great list of books, along with a valuable tip – number your books to make sure they are opened in a particular order, so the faves are well dispersed throughout the month.
I love this simple Countdown from Hello Bee. What a charming way to decorate your mantel! This post also includes some great tips on creating your own Book Advent Calendar.
I thought this next Advent Calendar from Piera at Jolly Mom was really sweet even before I realized that she has actually wrapped the books in fabric covers! What a fantastic idea! She then added lovely little felt adornments to the front, and the number tags. I think it is just a delightful way to display them! And the display will look just as nice on December 18th as it did on December 1st!
I am completely in love with this next one from Toni at Design Dazzle. In this house, we have been recycling gift bags since the beginning of time! They only hit the recycling bin once they are torn beyond repair. We have a few little fabric bags, but nothing this gorgeous. And to have them under the tree December 1st would be so wonderful! If I can manage to find the time I will most certainly be whipping up a few of these, as Toni provides a great mini-tutorial that shows exactly how to do this.
Our Littlest Helper still loves the mess of unwrapping her book Advent Calendar, so I generally use pretty tissue paper, but I think she can be persuaded if she helps with the fabric selection and the sewing!
Reading Confetti has another take on wrapping your Advent books – this time in brightly colored Christmas wrap, and topped off with a star. This is another that would look sweet up on a mantel, thought I suppose you would need one gigantic mantel!
If you find yourself on November 30th without a shred of gift-wrap in the house, worry not! All you need to get that Advent Calendar up and running is last weeks news out of the recycling bin! Wrap them up in newsprint, fancy them up with a pretty free printable tag from Every Day Cheer – done and done! She also gives a great list of books to help you get started.
Christmas Book Advent by Every Day Cheer
Does a little Elf come jingling by your house every December 1st? If you have an Elf on your Shelf you will love this one from Growing Book by Book! This Advent Calendar inspiration not only a great list of books, but scenes to set for your elf to match the books! Phenomenal!! If only I had seen this a little bit earlier in the year… but I guess there is always next year!
If you don’t like the idea of having some of your favorite Christmas books off limits for most of the month to display your Advent Calendar, you will appreciate this idea from Lorie, over at Reading Confetti. She has tucked the name of each book inside a little paper box, along with coordinating treat. The books themselves stay accessible the whole month through, but a special book is read each night. She gives a great little tutorial on making her little book scrolls too!
Allison, over at No Time for Flashcards has put together an amazing Advent Calendar, along with a list of books with Christmas crafts to match! What a huge help – talk about covering all your bases in one go!
Last but not least comes this very original take on the story advent! Kimbo, over at A Girl and a Glue Gun, has put together a binder, and filled it every day with Christmas stories and other little goodies! I don’t know about your kids, but the Littlest Helper would flip over a crafty Christmas book like this that we could create together!
These Christmas Countdowns with books might appear to be a little tricky to prepare. In reality, it is pretty simple. Our first year, I can across a giant stack of Christmas books in late November at a thrift store (some of them had never been opened!). Jackpot! That gave me my first 24. In years since, we find them at school and community book fairs, on sale after Christmas, and at garage sales. Even your library can help you out on this one!
Another helpful tip – don`t worry if you don`t have all 24 when you get started. You only need a few to get started, and add them in as you go along. More than one year has turned into a nightly game of booky hide and seek – not for lack of books but for lack of time to wrap more than one at a time!
Have you done a bookish countdown? I would love to hear about it!
And if Christmas Countdowns with books are not for you, you might enjoy some of the fabulous ideas on this post 15 Fun Advent Calendars for Kids!