I'm not ready to start Christmas decorating yet, it still feels too early. But it is the first of December tomorrow which means we'll be into Advent time of year. Last year I came across a gorgeous Advent idea which we tried for the first time and loved. Unfortunately I can't remember where I originally came across the idea, so whoever you are out there who thought of this, I'm really sorry but I can't give you credit. The idea is to have a Christmas book Advent. Find 24 Christmas books, wrap each one and then your children get to open one each day during Advent and read it with you.
I've got a feeling that when I originally saw the idea they had wrapped their books in brown paper, which looked lovely. But I hate wrapping, and last year I made loads of fabric bags for wrapping instead of paper.(It was several hours of work, but well worth it, now all my wrapping - I use them for birthdays as well as Christmas - is so quick and easy and mess free, and they're obviously reusable again and again.) So I simply made extra bags to include the Christmas books, which meant that today it was incredibly easy to get my Christmas book advent ready all over again.
Last year they were piled high on a window sill, but this year our newly plundered treasure chest (Mum & Dad's attic!) seemed perfect for the books.
|My fabric bags generally are all sorts of different colours, patterns and fabric types, but for the Christmas books I stuck to red fabric. The ribbons are all sewn on ready for tying.|
You may think 24 Christmas books sounds a lot. But with 4 children over 13 years, it builds up very easily. Particularly when you enjoy visiting Charity Shops (as I do!), they're a great source of cheap, Christmas books at this time of year. I won't list all the books we have in our collection, but here are a few of our favourites:
We'll start with 'The Elf on the Shelf' tomorrow, and then the 'Elf' can come out and wander around the house each day to keep an eye on how well everyone is behaving (lots of creative ideas on Pinterest for where to have your elf each day).
I've always loved the song 'The twelve Days of Christmas' and the illustrations in this book of it are lovely and full of imaginative detail.
|The Twelve Days of Christmas, Jane Ray.|
(Talking of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas, I also love this version:
Find it here on Amazon.
But it's not really a children's book!)
Another one I love for the illustrations is Eric Carle's Dream Snow.
I'm a big Eric Carle fan generally but I think his pictures in this book might have to be my favourites of his work...
A few classics that I've picked up very cheaply...
There are also a couple of days with Christmas Activity/sticker/craft type books and a few'cheats', in that they're not completely Christmassy, but more Wintry and snowy. This story, for example, which we love and have read countless times. It's a lovely one to read snuggled under the duvet!
|One Snowy Night|
And one that's a new one for this year, recommended by a friend, it looks beautiful - story and pictures - and I'm really looking forward to reading it with the girls.
|Snowflakes - this one is a new book written by the 'Cbeebies' presenter Cerrie Burnell.|
Christmas Eve will, of course, be 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' - only I seem to have not taken a photo of it, sorry! If you like this idea but are really struggling for books, you could always do just the week before Christmas perhaps? Or head down to your local library and get Christmas books out from there to supplement your own supply over the festive period.
So how about you? Have you got any favourite Christmas books? Or any favourite Advent traditions?
Not sure whether I'll be back Monday or not - I feel like I have loads of things to post about at the moment, but it's the big moving in day, so I'll see how it goes and how I'm doing for time, Sally.