24 Days of Christmas Books – a Creative Book Advent Calendar for Families
When you think about Christmas, what’s one of the first things that pops into your mind? I think for most of us, we find our minds drifting back to our favorite Christmas traditions as children.
While things might look different for all of us this Christmas, one thing that remains the same is the opportunity to create new memories with our children. Creative advent calendars for families are an awesome way to do that, and I’m excited to start a new tradition for our family this year with 24 Days of Christmas Books – a creative book advent calendar!
Note: Some links may be affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you use my links to purchase, at no extra added cost to you! I only recommend products that I personally love and believe in. Full disclaimer here.
24 Days of Christmas Books Tradition
This creative countdown to Christmas is great for any age, and the books that will be shared in this list are some that the whole family can enjoy. One of my favorite things about using books as a countdown to Christmas is that I’m not wasting money on junk that the kids will play with for a few days and then lose (or break)!
This book advent calendar for families is so fun! With a creative advent calendar for children like this, I’m not only helping to spark their creative thinking but also stimulate their minds educationally. Having different types of books on your list also means this is a creative advent calendar the entire family can enjoy!
This countdown to Christmas with books also doesn’t have to cost a ton to do! Want to do this 24 Days of Christmas Books for Advent on a budget?
- Use books you already have! Look through the bookcases in your home and see what Christmas books are already on those shelves. I was really surprised that in our house we already have 9 Christmas books!
- Shop for secondhand Christmas books at unexpected places. You might think of thrift stores when searching for inexpensive secondhand books, but don’t forget about Facebook Marketplace and Facebook local moms groups for finding gently used Christmas books for this new tradition.
- Do a little shopping around when you’re buying new Christmas books for this creative advent calendar, especially when it comes to Christmas books for little kids. I’ve also recently discovered that places like Hobby Lobby have inexpensive Christmas books for kids in their décor section! Amazon also has some great sales that happen pretty frequently, letting you snag brand new books for a fraction of the list price.
How Does the 24 Days of Christmas Books for Advent Work?
Choose 24 holiday books and wrap them individually. Place them under your Christmas tree on December 1st. Each night up to Christmas Eve (December 24th), the kids get to choose a package to unwrap and read together as a family.
You can either choose your books at random, or number each package if there are certain books you want to open on specific nights.
Make this new Christmas tradition extra special with your little ones by adding Christmas music, hot cocoa and a warm fire while you’re reading together.
I know it may sound like a lot of work to wrap each book individually, but I promise you that your kids will be overjoyed with excitement once they realize they get to unwrap a new gift every night!
24 Christmas Books for 24 Special Nights
I’m excited to start this creative advent calendar tradition with our family this year, and hope it will become something we look forward to each December. I love the idea of having a special time that we come together as a family each night and spend quality time together.
Plus, choosing a mix of fun books and meaningful ones with positive messages will help us as a family remember to focus on what really matters at Christmas. For our little ones it’s so easy for them to get swept up in all of the fun around Santa and gifts (and who blames them??).
Want to make things last a little longer? Add an extra day and make this 25 Days of Christmas Books instead! The options are totally up to you.
A Special Twist on this Book Advent Calendar for Christmas 2020
This holiday season is going to look a lot different from normal for many of us. If you are searching for a way to help your little ones still feel connected to friends and family members they aren’t able to see in person this year, this 24 Days of Christmas Books Advent Calendar is a wonderful option!
Create a numbered list of books that you share with friends and family, counting down from December 1st to December 24th. Unwrap each corresponding number at all of your homes on the same night, and feel a little bit closer together though you might be far apart by reading the same books “together,” though physically apart.
Books to Include in Your Christmas Book Advent Calendar Tradition
Below I am sharing the 24 Christmas books that our family will be reading this year. This list is a mix of ones that are new to us, and a few old favorites.
If you’re looking for some ideas for what to include in your own Countdown to Christmas, you can’t go wrong with any of these looks for expanding your own holiday library!
If you want to join us and read along with the same books together, I’ve numbered our selections. Starting with #1 on December 1st through #24 on Christmas Eve, I’ve listed in order the books that our family will be reading this year.
Our family has very young children (ages 1 and 2), so some of the books on this list are geared towards their ages. I’ve also included books about Hanukkah and Kwanza, as well as the winter solstice, as it’s important to our family that we are teaching our boys about different cultures and religion.
If you would like to sub out any book on this list and need some inspiration, be sure to check out The Best Christmas Books for Babies and Toddlers!
24 Days of Christmas Books- Wrap them and read one each night for a special twist on creating a new Christmas tradition!
This 24 Days of Christmas Books list is split into small groups to make it easy to read the list. Click on the photo of each book to find out more information, and scroll down below the photos for details about each selection!
1. The Story of Christmas
Start off your 24 Days of Christmas Books Advent Calendar Countdown with a beautiful and simple story of what Christmas really is. With beautiful art and and simplified text for little readers, The Story of Christmas is sure to become a favorite of your family for years to come.
Order Here: The Story of Christmas
2. Teeny Tiny Santa
Perfect for little ones, this sweet Christmas story shows that big things come in small packages. A teeny tiny fox worries that he might be too small for Santa to reach him, but a teeny tiny Santa arrives to deliver his gift!
Order Here: Teeny Tiny Santa
3. Little Robin’s Christmas
This is a beautiful story that focuses on giving to others in need in way that’s easy for even toddlers to understand. Little Robin has seven brightly colored knit vests for the week leading up to Christmas that he’s very excited to wear. Each day as he heads outdoors, he comes upon an animal who is cold and has nothing to wear to keep them warm, so Little Robin gives up his special vests one by one to help those animals in need. Santa rewards his generosity and kindness to others with a very special gift.
Order Here: Little Robin’s Christmas
4. How Winston Delivered Christmas
This is the story of a mouse named Winston who sets off on a journey to deliver a lost letter to Santa. Taking place over 24 and a half chapters, each chapter also includes a fun Christmas themed-activity, such as making paper snowflakes and writing a letter to Santa.
Order Here: How Winston Delivered Christmas
5. Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever
A very cute story about how Santa’s team of reindeers came to be. Little Dasher runs away and meets Santa, but misses her family. Santa delivers her Christmas wish by bringing her whole family to live with them and pull his sleigh. A beautiful celebration of the love of our families!
6. Dream Snow
Our family loves Eric Carle’s books (especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug), and this beautiful book is the perfect holiday addition. With bright, colorful illustrations Dream Snow tells the story of a farmer dreaming of Christmas snow, and how he takes care of his animals once it actually starts.
The animals just so happen to be named One, Two, Three, Four and Five, making the book fun for your toddlers to count along with, too.
Order Here: Dream Snow
7. Little Red Sleigh: A Heartwarming Christmas Book for Children
A very sweet book for helping little ones remember to dream big, Little Red Sleigh dreams of one day becoming Santa’s big red sleigh. But she keeps being told she’s too small, too young and can’t fly. No matter what, she’s determined to make her dreams come true.
8. Llama Llama Jingle Bells
If your little one is obsessed with Llama Llama Red Pajama too, this short and sweet rhyming book is a perfect addition for your Christmas reading. A sweet book choice that encourages little ones to spread holiday cheer and love through their actions, follow Little llama and his friends as they participate in holiday activities like gift-giving and decorating holiday cookies.
This board book is also great for babies because the thick pages are easy to turn!
Order Here: Llama Llama Jingle Bells
9. The ABC’s of Christmas
If your little ones are also working on learning their letters, they will love this fun (and sparkly!) beautifully illustrated alphabet board book this holiday.
Order Here: The ABC’s of Christmas
The next two books were chosen because we feel it’s important for our family to raise good citizens of the world. Part of that is exposing our children to different cultures, religions and celebrations.
Christmas isn’t the only holiday celebrated in December, and we wanted to choose two books that helped our children learn about Hanukkah and Kwanza.
If you want to stick to only Christmas books for your countdown, check out The Best Christmas Books for Babies and Toddlers for some more books to substitute in here.
10. The Story of Hanukkah
December 10th marks the first night of Hannukah 2020, and is the perfect night to talk to your little ones about the Festival of Lights. This board book version of the popular picture book has been pared down for preschoolers and toddlers, and will introduce children to the story behind the holiday.
Order Here: The Story of Hanukkah
11. My First Kwanzaa
Kwanza can be a complicated holiday to explain to little ones (especially if your family doesn’t celebrate it), but Karen Katz does a fantastic job in this colorful book told from a child’s perspective. Important to note as you read: Kwanza this year will start on December 26th and end on January 1st.
Order Here: My First Kwanzaa
12. The Beginner’s Bible: The Very First Christmas
Part of the best-selling The Beginner’s Bible Collection, The Beginner’s Bible, The Very First Christmas introduces children to the story of Jesus’s birth in a simple and easy to understand way.
Order Here: The Beginner’s Bible: The Very First Christmas
13. Little Blue Trucks’ Christmas
Our family loves the original Little Blue Truck, and this holiday tale is a fun addition to our story time. Follow Little Blue Truck spreading cheer by delivering Christmas trees to his animal friends. With sturdy card stock pages, compact and child-friendly text, and flashing lights on the last page, your little ones are sure to delight in this adventure.
Order Here: Little Blue Truck’s Christmas
14. Construction Site on Christmas Night
If you’re a fan of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, you will love her holiday-themed book. Each construction vehicle contributes to a big Christmas surprise, and then finds a surprise of their own as they head off to bed.
Order Here: Construction Site on Christmas Night
15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Watching the movie might be a tradition in your home, but there’s something special about reading Dr. Seuss’s classic book full of funny rhymes and whimsical images as the Grinch finds the true meaning of Christmas.
Order Here: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
16. The Polar Express
This Caldecott Medal winning book has been delighting readers of all ages for nearly two decades, and is a book your family can love reading together for years to come. With its gorgeous illustrations, it tells the tale of a boy who takes a Christmas Eve train ride through the night to the North Pole, and is a favorite for families young and old.
Order Here: The Polar Express
17. Olive, the Other Reindeer
Adorable Olive and her hilarious adventures are sure to make your family smile! While merrily preparing for Christmas Olive suddenly realizes she must be a reindeer! She hops aboard the polar express and heads to the North Pole to join Santa. While everyone is a bit surprised at first, in the end Olive and her unusual skills are just what Santa and his team need.
Order Here: Olive The Other Reindeer
18. I Got the Christmas Spirit
A unique Christmas book for kids that tackles a difficult reality of the season head-on, and shows a young person being compassionate and giving by helping others in need.
Order Here: I Got the Christmas Spirit
19. The Crayons’ Christmas
The Crayons from the smash-hit children’s book, The Day the Crayons Quit are back in a special holiday-themed story. Duncan and his crayons are getting ready for Christmas and letters start arriving. Each envelope has something special inside for little ones to discover.
Order Here: The Crayons’ Christmas
20. 5 More Sleeps ‘til Christmas
Make the last week until Christmas more fun by counting how many sleeps until the arrival of Santa and his reindeer with this fun book from comedian Jimmy Fallon. (December 20th marks 5 more sleeps, by the way! Perfect timing in your book advent calendar.)
Order Here: 5 More Sleeps ‘til Christmas
21. The Shortest Day
This year the Winter Solstice falls on December 21st, and is a wonderful opportunity to talk about the shortest day of the year! This sweet book does a great job at describing the various ways cultures have celebrated winter solstice over the years throughout the world. The Shortest Day captures the magic that early people felt when the days got shorter and they didn’t know if they light would return, connecting us with generations past. With beautiful illustrations, it’s sure to spark some wonderful and creative conversation with your own family.
Order Here: The Shortest Day
22. Silent Night
A gorgeous book version of one of the world’s most popular Christmas carols, the illustrator beautifully captures the diversity of our world as they tell the story of the Nativity through the lyrics of Silent Night.
Order Here: Silent Night
23. The Christmas Eve Tree
A tale that focuses on what truly matters this time of year: caring for each other and our community. In this beautiful story of hope, a leftover tree and a homeless boy bring happiness to each other.
Order Here: The Christmas Eve Tree
24. The Night Before Christmas
How can you have a list of the best Christmas books for babies and toddlers without the absolute classic, The Night Before Christmas? This wonderful new version of the classic poem every family should own is illustrated by renowned New York Times #1 Bestselling artist Charles Santore, and is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a Christmas book that will grow with your little one over the years.
Order Here: The Night Before Christmas
If you take part in the 24 Days of Christmas Books advent calendar, be sure to let me know! Tag me on Instagram @simply.siobhan and using hashtag #mimosasmotherhood =)
If you loved this post, be sure to PIN 24 Days of Christmas Books to try later!