I love Christmas! But my problem is I start getting that Bing Crosby feeling around mid-October and it is no good for my kids’ excitement levels. So, as of last year, there is now a self-imposed rule: no Christmassiness (that includes Gingerbread Lattes, Mince Pies and said Bing) until 1st December. Well Bah Humbug!
As with most rules I have been finding ways to get around it, and one way is with this Advent Calendar I have been preparing (since about mid-June) for my children.
As I was clearing out their bookshelves to make room for a particularly large Amazon delivery I decided to put the Christmas themed books away until December — we had 8, so that made some space. It occurred to me that it would be a nice idea to have a Christmas story every night of Advent… and so the Christmas Story Book Calendar was born. Of course my husband thinks I am madly excessive buying a further 16 Christmas books over the last months but this is a calendar that will come out year after year.
I’ve wrapped each book up in super cheap red wrapping from Ikea (is there no end to their brilliance?) and numbered them for the 24 days until Christmas. I am so excited to see my children unwrapping one parcel each night before bed and for me to re-read the stories. Some of my choices are German Christmas books for my husband to read and I’ve wrapped those for the days when we visit Berlin so Oma, Opa and other family can also get involved.
This is how our calendar looks this year:
1. Mr Snow – Roger Hargreaves
2. Little Elephant’s Christmas – Heluiz Washburne & Jean McConnell
3. Madeline’s Christmas – Ludwig Bemelmans
4. Petunia’s Christmas – Roger Duvoisin
5. A Star So Bright – M Christina Butler & Caroline Peder
6. Mog’s Christmas – Judith Kerr
7. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey – Susan Wojciechowski
8. One Snowy Night – Nick Butterworth
9. Lyle at Christmas – Bernard Waber
10. Letters from father Christmas – J.R.R. Tolkien
11. Die Weihnachtsengelein – Else Wenz-Vietor
12. Weihnachten im Stall – Astrid Lindgren
13. Wie Weihnachtelt Man? – Kathrin Schaerer & Lorenz Pauli
14. Weihnachten im Bullerbue – Astrid Lindgren
15. Little Rabbit’s Christmas – Harry Horse
16. Albert le Blanc – Nick Butterworth
17. Bear Stays Up For Christmas – Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman
18. Paddington and the Christmas Surprise – Michael Bond
19. Mr Willowby’s Christmas Tree – Robert Barry
20. The Little Fir Tree – Margaret Wise Brown
21. One Thousand Christmas Beards – Roger Duvoisin (out of print)
22. Christmas Day in the Morning – Pearl S. Buck
23. The First Christmas – Jan Pienkowski
24. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – Clement C. Moore (Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith)
You can find some of these and other favourite Festive Season Books in the Babyccino Bookshop.