By Mari Lynn Garbowicz 

Traditions can become a favorite part of the holiday season. The familiarity and anticipation of doing something special as a family year after year is special.

One holiday activity that may become a family tradition is the 24 days of Christmas books tradition – a simple and educational twist on an advent calendar.

To do this, wrap 24 Christmas books and put them under the tree or in a special basket. Every night before bed, let your children  choose a book to unwrap and then read it together.

The best thing about this tradition is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot. To find the 24 books:

  1. Use What You Have. Find Christmas books that you already have at your home. 
  2. Shop for Cheap Books. Go to thrift stores or use Facebook/Online Garage sales to find seasonal books. 
  3. Buy a Few New Books. 
  4. Use Your Local Library 

Each night leading up to Christmas, your child selects one book to unwrap and then you read it together. You might want to save The Night Before Christmas for December 24th.

This activity adds so much excitement to the days leading up to Christmas, and it strengthens the bond between parent and child. Sharing a good story together is a wonderful way to create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime.

The Demmer Library is a wonderful resource for books you may want to include in this activity. Some suggestions are:

Snow Globe Wishes – Erin Dealey

The Berenstain Bears Old Fashioned Christmas – Jan and Mike Berenstain

Jan Brett’s The Nutcracker – Jan Brett

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin – Erin Eitter Kono

The Last Christmas Tree – Stephen Krensky

Santa Bruce – Ryan T Higgins

Come and See(A Christmas Story) – Monica Mayper

Bear Stays Up For Christmas – Karma Wilson

The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg

The Bear and the Star – Lola M Schaefer

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies – Laura Numeroff

Froggy’s Best Christmas – Jonathan London

The Wonderful Gifts of Winter – Dandi Daley Mackall

And Then Comes Christmas – Tom Brenner

Snowmen at Christmas – Caralyn Buehner

Who Was Born This Special Day? – Eve Bunting

Dream Snow – Eric Carle

Merry Christmas, Strega Nona – Tomie de Paola

Llama Llama Holiday Drama – Anna Dewdney

Stick Man – Julia Donaldson

The Night Before Christmas – Clement Moore

Bear Noel – Olivier Dunrea

A World of Cookies for Santa – M. E. Furman

Silent Night – Lara Hawthorne

Harold at the North Pole – Crockett Johnson