Saturday, December 01, 2012

A New Kind of Advent Calendar

I saw the idea a year or so ago, and immediately started planning to implement it this year. Instead of a traditional open-a-door-each-day, or other type of Countdown to Christmas, this "calendar" consists of a stack of wrapped books, each one telling a tale about Winter or Christmas.
It wasn't very hard to accumulate enough titles to make up the 25 days. I know... traditionally there should be 24, but I have 25, which means the last one gets read ON Christmas day. Its more about the fun of building excitement and learning all at the same time.

My stack of books is partially random, having accumulated about half the number needed over the last several years, gifts from friends, thrift store finds, hand-me-downs. The remaining books I chose based on reviews read online. I've read about other families who have the same tradition, but borrow the books from the library instead of purchasing them.
Each day between now and Christmas, the kids will get to choose a wrapped book at random from the pile, and we will read it together as a family. I can hardly wait to get started!

I figure that as the kids get older, we'll probably swap out some books for others, but a good portion of them are going to remain staples of this tradition.

If you want to see the list of book titles, I created a shelf over at Goodreads for you to peruse.
Do any of you have a similar tradition? Do you have favorite Christmas stories that I don't have on my list? Have I inspired you to start the same tradition?

13 comments:

rachel whetzel said...

LOVE this idea!

The Sampler Girl said...

Several of my favs there in your pile!! TRACKS IN THE SNOW is so so sweet. Lovely new tradition of yours - enjoy!

Tanya

Catherine said...

What a fun idea!

teri said...

This year I am starting a new tradition for my husband and I. I purchased small envelopes at Craft Warehouse, each one is numbered,1-25. Beginning today and continuing through Christmas my husband will be getting a little love note from me each morning. And, a candy cane or starlight mint (he's addicted). Your idea is great and I am going to tell my daughter.

Sandra said...

What a wonderful new tradition. I love things like this. Your children will never forget and will probably do the same thing with their families.

Sandra
Homespun Elegance

Teri said...

Beth, I LOVE this idea! I try and buy a "Christmas" book each year for my collection, and I leave them out to enjoy during the month of December, but to have one for each day is just a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing your list as well. Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods..." was last year's purchase - and one of my "new" favorites.

gracie said...

A wonderful idea.

Laurie in Iowa said...

What a wonderful idea and a wonderful gift you are giving you children.

Anne said...

I love this idea!! Have a list and shall start looking for them!! Happy advent reading!! :)

Anonymous said...

There is one book you might want to add to the list....it is A Small One. "A beautifully written children's story that is meant to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. It is a story of a young boy who has to find a new home for his best friend, a donkey named Small One. He searches high and low for a loving new home for him and in the end he finds a new home for him with Joseph and Mary as they journey to Bethlehem.." Your children would be able to relate to this as you find new homes for your puppies. Great idea....wish I had know/thought about this when my 6 were all little!

Lee Johnson said...

This is a great new tradition you have started. Family reading time was always special to my children and myself as well. So sorry to hear about the puppies. Heartbreaking but looks like you have focus on those that made it. Beautiful pictures too.

Denise said...

Two more recommendations that, in my mind, are required for the lovely place you live:
Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen
and
Christmas Farm, by Mary Lyn Ray.
Though you've got yourself a good stack, DO check these out. :)

Heather said...

I love this idea along with the advent calendar we already have. I think I will try and incorporate the two. Thanks!