Christmas Book Advent Calendar

Bedtime stories are pretty sacred in our household. They are a time in which our kids can settle down; they force some of the best snuggles as a result of a growing family on a crowded couch; and they lead to some of the most rare moments in which you’ll found our life of controlled chaos in a relatively calm and quiet state.

With December being only a few days away, I’m super excited to share with you my most recent project. I can’t take full credit for the idea, as there are tons of creative and inspiring social media accounts that you can find on Pinterest or Instagram who have presented different ways to do the very thing that I did… They were a source of inspiration for me and my hope is that I can be a source of inspiration for you!



The premise of this project is to collect 25 different books as a means for kids to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Now, I’ve never actually used an advent calendar with my kids but I’m somewhat familiar with the various methods and traditions available… I’ve seen wooden Christmas trees at Target with 25 different nooks to place a small toy or piece of candy. I’ve seen adorable puzzles and festive wall hangings. I’ve seen meticulously crafted, handmade boxes and houses on Etsy. What I had NOT seen was the idea of creating an advent calendar with books. When a friend recently shared this idea with me, I was immediately on board. If you know me well, you know that I am a huge advocate for early literacy. I also adore Christmas with all my heart and I’m a total sucker for traditions. I also love any opportunity to snuggle with my family and read a good book… especially when that good book is centered on lessons regarding the true meaning of Christmas for a month straight!

This is such a simple, yet meaningful and memorable way to count down the days until Christmas and the anniversary of Christ’s birth. You don’t need to spend tons of money at a bookstore or on Amazon to complete this project. You guys, I did this in two days for less than $15. TOTAL.

I started by checking out my local Goodwill stores. Most Goodwills sell children’s book for $1/each, with some even running 50% off specials- usually on Friday. If you’re willing to dig a little, you can find some serious bargains! In fact, I found half of my Christmas collection on my very first visit!


Here is the bin of children’s books from my first Goodwill stop.

My next stop was Once Upon A Child. If you are a parent and have never been to this store, you should probably just stop reading my post and go google the nearest location (Come back to me when you’re done)! Once Upon A Child is an upscale second-hand children’s store that buys and sells gently used books, toys, games, shoes, clothes, coats, etc. at a fraction of the cost. The price for their books is usually .50/paperback and $1/hardcover. My local store always offers books at BOGO (buy one/get one 50% off) so I was literally able to buy some gently used/brand new books for prices cheaper than what I would pay at Goodwill!


This is the wall of shelves at my local Once Upon A Child.

Now listen, if you don’t have the time to go though bins and shelves and your hands can only handle so much hand sanitizer… then here’s another option: Visit your closest library! You can check out 25 Christmas books that are probably already sorted and categorized on a shelf that’s easily accessible. Boom. Twenty-five books in a single trip that will likely take you less than 10 minutes and all you have to do is make sure you renew/return them so that you don’t incur late fees.


My entire collection of Christmas stories!

Once you have your books, simply lay them out in order you want them read and wrap them up- I did this today while my kids napped! Starting December 1st, the kids will get to unwrap a surprise book each night and snuggle up on the couch to listen to a Christmas story! Initially, I had hoped to find most of my books more centered around the birth of Jesus and the story of the nativity but for obvious reasons, I couldn’t be too choosy as my selection was limited… Given that this project was put together in only a few days though, I think I ended up with a nice mix of books that will teach some good lessons, make the kids laugh, and help them learn more about the true meaning of Christmas.


My kids are SO excited about this new basket of goodies and are anxiously awaiting permission to start unwrapping and reading throughout the rest of the Christmas season! I hope I’ve inspired you to think about some fun and simple ways in which you can help your kids understand the meaning of Christmas too… and HEY! It’s not too late! The simplicity of this project allows you to control when it begins! Maybe your advent calendar starts the second week of December or maybe you find only enough books to count down the ’12 days until Christmas’! It doesn’t matter! Your kids will love it, no matter how you do it or when you start it! Best of luck!

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