As well as the sewn advent calendar (the big reveal is tomorrow!), we have a book advent calendar. Last year was the first year of us doing it (having been inspired by Pinterest), and as we were on a fairly tight budget we started buying early.
Basically our aim was to find 24 Christmas/winter themed stories so that they had 1 per day. We already had a few-Stick Man, the Gruffalo’s Child and so on, but 24 still felt like a lot. We scoured car boot sales and managed to source a lot of them over the course of the summer for around £5 in total (many for as little as 10p each). Sadly, some of them really had seen better days, which we only realised last year when we actually did the book advent calendar for the first time. (They were pop up books, and the mechanisms were all torn and broken.) We were very lucky that the children received several festive books last year from relatives so we saved them for this year’s calendar once they had read them. I also picked up a set of 5 ‘free’ when I bought the books for the party bags for my son’s birthday party. (I had a discount code which reduced the total by more than the cost of the set of books, well worth using!) That means that this year’s selection is a little bit different to last year’s, which is an added bonus and should mean they don’t get bored. We have a lovely mix of winter stories and a few religious books which recount the Christmas story in a child friendly way.
Mr Craft and I have spent this evening wrapping the books and labelling them. (I saved last year’s labels, which I die cut from scraps of Christmas card making paper and attached using raffia string.) They look lovely by the fire place, all festive and ready to open. The Christmassy stories really help get us in the festive mood. (The other bonus is that there is no opportunity for bedtime procrastination spending half an hour choosing a book as each nights bedtime story is ready and waiting!)
It looks like the book advent calendar will be a tradition in our house for at least a few more years. I still love Christmas stories as an adult, and I’m hoping the children will feel the same as they grow up.
What family traditions do you have in the run up to Christmas? Do you have a special way of celebrating advent?