When you become a parent, the Christmas season is instantly so much more magical. You get a second chance to experience this wonderful time of year through the lens of a child. Growing up, I had several memorable traditions with my family, and I knew I wanted to start some fun new traditions with my own children. As an avid reader and teacher, I wanted to do something special with our growing pile of Christmas books. Like most of my ideas, I wanted to jump straight into a special bedtime Christmas book routine. And of course, I saw the cutest idea online of wrapping 24 books for your children to unwrap each night leading up to Christmas. This was going to be great!
Our first Christmas season we did this, we didn’t have 24 books. I knew we could start with the 10 or so we had and build our library each year. So, I wrapped all of our books, set them under the tree, and explained to my son and daughter that we would choose one each night to unwrap and read together. And….. here’s what I learned that year.
- I don’t enjoy wrapping anything. I’m more of a gift bag girl. (In all honesty, that gift bag could end up looking a whole lot like a Wal-Mart sack.)
- It’s annoying to find tiny bits of wrapping paper and tape left over each night. Plus, sleepy kids really don’t enjoy cleaning up after themselves.
- I LOVED seeing my kid’s excitement over reading and spending time together each night.
So, when the next Christmas season rolled around, I knew I wanted to do this again, but we needed some adjustments. Since I am a 25% Pinterest/75% Amazon Prime Mom, I instantly threw out the wrapping of each book. Instead, I simply put a number somewhere on each book. After numbering the books, 1-24, I had the kids help me write the numbers 1-24 on little pieces of paper and we put them in a coffee mug. Each night, we would draw a number out of the mug and that was the book we would read for the night. This system worked for us! We still had our fun, family time, but with less stress for this Mama!
Our collection has grown over the years. We have more than 24 books now. I just pulled them out this weekend and it’s probably time to switch a few books out. With our newest little addition, we definitely need a touch and feel board book. We are going to get That’s Not My Elf, since she LOVES her That’s Not My Puppy book. We are also going to add The Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky for my older two since they love learning about our home state.
What are some of your favorite Christmas books or stories you read with your children each year?