Traditions: Advent

I'm a book hoarder. While in school, I loved ordering from Scholastic Book Clubs. I've got quite a collection that Ellie appreciates as well.

So when I came across the idea of a counting down to Christmas by reading a story a night, I was in love.

Back in October, I went through all the books on the shelf and pulled the winter-themed and Christmas stories. I had an old, antique suitcase that I'd bought years ago and started collecting the books there. I think I started out with 18 books. While grocery shopping, I picked up a few more favorites and Little Golden Books.

Last week, I grabbed my suitcase full of books and some supplies - wrapping paper, Scotch tape and scissors. During nap time I wrapped all the "presents."

Starting on December 1st, we have opened one book a night. The kids love it! Ellie looks forward to ripping the paper off and seems genuinely surprised to find a book in the package every night. Grant's favorite book has been one of those touchy-feely texture books.

We read the book together as a family then I go to nurse Grant and put him to bed. Aaron goes through Ellie's bedtime routine and rereads the book along with several other bedtime stories.

Our book list:
  • Who is Coming to our House
  • The Mouse that Jack Built
  • The Littlest Christmas Tree
  • Harold and the North Pole
  • Biscuit's Pet & Play Christmas
  • The Snowy Day
  • Mooseltoe
  • The Hat
  • The Mitten
  • The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas
  • The Three Snow Bears
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • a Little Golden Book's The Night Before Christmas
  • The Biggest Snowman Ever
  • Light the Lights (A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah & Christmas)
  • (Picture Me) Under the Christmas Tree
  • Hurry Santa
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Russell's Christmas Magic
  • The Velveteen Rabit
  • Christmas for the Snowmen
  • It's Christmas, David!
  • The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree
  • The Night Before Christmas (Illustrated by Donald Mills) -- Somehow we wound up with two copies, but different illustrators, of this story on the same shopping trip. I'll be sure to replace it with something else for next year.
I didn't worry about what order the books went in and Ellie knows only to open one a night, so they're not numbered or anything. Just a visual reminder that the fewer the books the closer we are to Christmas. I went ahead and placed the wrapped books in order by height back into the suitcase and we pull one out every night. We will be sure to read or reread The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, even if it isn't the last book in the suitcase.

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