Christmas book Advent calendar

christmas book advent calendar

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.


50 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Courtney | November 29, 2009 | Reply

This is such a cool idea! I will definitely do this next year.
And I love all your book suggestions (as always!).


2. Anna / Tiggsybabes | November 29, 2009 | Reply

What a fabulous idea! Am off to see how many books I can find on the shelves that are related to Christmas!

3. TheYoupiTouch | November 29, 2009 | Reply

Geniale idee, bravo !

4. Dina | November 29, 2009 | Reply

What an amazing and very stylish idea!!!!! I am looking forward to hearing more from South London!

5. Sara | November 30, 2009 | Reply

Wow…very impressive line-up! Mo, I’m really looking forward to all your contributions… And judging from this, you are brilliant with craft like Courtney! xx

6. et | November 30, 2009 | Reply

my oh my, this will now be a tradition for years to come – how special!! You are a bit fab aren’t you Mo? Looking forward to hearing more…x

7. Esther | November 30, 2009 | Reply

This is such a wonderful idea! And thank you so much for those book suggestions!!
It’s a bit funny in the Netherlands, because until the 6th of December we’re so busy with Saint Nicholas, that nobody is even thinking about Christmas yet! But I love this and am going to collect more Christmas books…

8. mominthecity | November 30, 2009 | Reply

I did the same!!!,

but with the difference that I leave to my daughters the choice of the book. We arrived at 14 books, so we’ll read a new book any two days. For next year I’m planning to sew tissue bag for the books, so I don’t waste too much paper …

9. Natalie | November 30, 2009 | Reply

I’ve been doing so well at weaning myself off Amazon for the past few weeks (that Amazon Prime makes it all too tempting) and then I read this post – what a cool idea! Oh and welcome Mo from S. London – it’s a good place to live :-)

10. gabrielle | November 30, 2009 | Reply

i didn’t think it was possible to be any more impressed by the babyccino mums and their craft ideas, but this tops it – wins on every level. beautiful, bookish,and warm. bravo!

11. Cat | November 30, 2009 | Reply

I just swooned, seriously! And, I hope it’s ok but I’m going to blog about it too! Gracious me – the cleverness!

12. Sarah | November 30, 2009 | Reply

As my little girl is a bit young for this i am just worried i will forget about this brilliant idea by the time next christmas comes along – well done mo!

13. Candice | November 30, 2009 | Reply

Fantastic idea! I’m going to link to your post and share the idea with as many people as I can. Thank you!

14. Maree | November 30, 2009 | Reply

Love the idea of reading a special Christmas story each night. Brilliant!

15. Sarah | December 1, 2009 | Reply

Love it. I will set aside christmas books from my grandparents, mom and my childhood for the day when the next generation can enjoy them!

I suggest you write notes on the tags/ or inside the book covers. Quotes, memories, book reviews or sorts you can all read and treasure over the years.

16. Christine | December 1, 2009 | Reply

Super cool idea!

17. d.chung | December 1, 2009 | Reply

i love this idea… and i’d probably do the same, but i now have a tradition for my daughter getting her the playmobil advent calendar.
but fantastic idea!

18. Kate | December 1, 2009 | Reply

I just love this idea. I’m going to start preparing for this for next year now! Thank you thank you. It will fun to find a combination of French and American Christmas books too!

19. Vanessa | December 1, 2009 | Reply

After reading your post, i ran to a stationary store, and also bought 25 Little Mr and Little Mrs and wrapped them and numbered the enveloppes…and read number one to my son tonight just on time Dec 1st. THANK YOU for the brilliant idea!!

20. Vanessa | December 1, 2009 | Reply

ps: too bad i did not have time to get only christmas related books…but at least Mr Coldman did it tonight…and Mr Snowman will do on the 24th! next year i will be well prepared. thx again.

21. courtney | December 2, 2009 | Reply

Brillant! As a school teacher, I am absolutely smitted with this idea and plan to implement as soon as my bean can open presents! Thanks so much for sharing!

22. Erin | December 2, 2009 | Reply

What a completely brilliant idea! We have dozens of Christmas books in our house, and what fun it would be to unwrap one each day of December and read it at bedtime. Thanks for the inspiration!

23. Ivonne | December 2, 2009 | Reply

Fantastic idea!

24. Hampers | December 3, 2009 | Reply

Just gone through your Christmas calendar and found it to be wonderful. It looks awesome. Will surely buy it as a gift for someone.

25. Catalina | December 3, 2009 | Reply

I really love the idea!!!!

26. paty | December 4, 2009 | Reply

I love the idea… next year, I really want to have something like that for my baby…

27. Pitusa | December 8, 2009 | Reply

So Beautiful!
I just came across your site and I love it…….this idea of the Christmas book advent calendar is just brilliant.
Happy Holidays!

28. tc | December 8, 2009 | Reply

what a brilliant idea !!! May have to “copy” it next year. x

29. sue | December 27, 2009 | Reply

We have done this for the past 2 christmas seasons and it has been a big hit !
I expanded the collection to include winter themed books as well as christmas one

Happy new year!

30. becky warwick | January 7, 2010 | Reply

its jan 7th and I have just ordered some of the books for next year! How bonkers is that!!! Lovely idea.

31. Michaela | July 28, 2010 | Reply

Great idea and so very clever! More excitement at Christmas!

32. Marielle Wiesinger | October 22, 2010 | Reply

I saw your fantastic idea last Christmas; so after Christmas when Christmas themed books were on sale at our local children’s bookstore, I grabbed about 14 books by different authors to start the collection. As my kids are older, ( nine and seven) I also bought a few chapter books dealing with the Christmas theme; although we won’t be able to read them every single night; they will be there for them to read over the Christmas season. This is the best idea and I am so inspired by your creativity!!!

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34. Freida | November 16, 2010 | Reply

Oh my, I actually missed this post last year, now I am not too late, sio I will be busy getting my books ready for December!! Thanks for such a fab idea…!

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39. Christmas Hampers | September 6, 2011 | Reply

Such a great idea. I was trying to think of an idea for an advent calendar for my son which didnt involve sweets or chocolate – this is a great idea! Thank you so much.

40. Jill | December 1, 2011 | Reply

Someone sent me this entry last fall and over the last year, I’ve been accumulating books – most of them when Borders went out of business. My kids are still little, so I have quite a few board books which made standing them up rather difficult. Here’s my pic:

Thank you for sharing such a great idea!

41. Sierra @ H is for Homeschooling | December 2, 2011 | Reply

I love this idea! They look so pretty all wrapped on the mantle! I would love for you to join my advent link party if you have the time!

42. Kasey | November 24, 2012 | Reply

This is such a wonderful idea, and you explain it well (and have gorgeous photos to boot!). Thanks for sharing it here. Several people have mentioned, in their comments, either “weaning themselves off Amazon” or going to their local (children’s) bookstore, I’d like to put it a good word for shopping local and/or shopping ‘indie’. To be honest, Amazon is convenient, but at this point, they’re not a good bookstore any more… they just want to take over the world! (sigh… only half-kidding). Anyway, I do encourage people, in collecting books for their advent book project, to ask small stores and library second-hand shops for recommendations… you may end up with some extra-special books you didn’t even know existed!

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44. patricia escanho | November 30, 2012 | Reply

What a great idea!! I wrote a post on my blog about advent calendars and linked to your post. Hope you don’t mind…

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47. Renu | December 4, 2012 | Reply

Absolutely brilliant.

48. Claire | September 16, 2013 | Reply

I realise I’m seeing this a few years late but this is fantastic! I am also a Christmas junkie and can’t wait to do this! Thank you thank you thank you!

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