Celebrate the Countdown to Christmas with an Advent Book Calendar

Brown paper packages tied up with strings, yes that is a lyric from a song, but it was also the inspiration for an advent calendar idea. We have never done an advent calendar. I have always seen them and wanted to, but then the idea of having little tiny things like Lego pieces that would just get lost or go unused wasn’t very appealing. That is when I started to think about how we could countdown to Christmas, have family time together and give the kids something they could use over and over again. This led to the creation of our book advent calendar.


Basically, I took brown craft paper and wrapped up 20 books. Then, I wrapped the packages with twine, wrote a Christmas countdown number on the package and placed it under the tree. I started with some fun family books like an “I Spy” book, and as the countdown numbers got lower I used all Christmas related books. The last book, which we will open on Christmas Eve is a nativity story book to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday.

So far, the boys love this. They get to open a present from under the tree each day and then we get some family time together as I read the books to them each night. Yes, even my 12 and 10 year old still love to be read to. It is also inexpensive. The books were all purchased from the local thrift store for $.25, so we got a great advent calendar and family memories for about $5.

Do you have a unique advent calendar or Christmas countdown tradition in your home?

21 Comments

  1. Yes Shelly, it is the only place I have found that is that affordable though. Goodwill wanted $3.99 a book, so I went elsewhere LOL.

  2. Great idea!! We have a local used bookstore and they have children's books as low as .50!! And they also buy books! I will have to run over there!

  3. My boys love Legos too Maryann, but then I would have had to buy four of the calendars and that was just too much. This way, they can all share the books and we can have some time together. 🙂

  4. This is a fantastic idea! I love how inexpensive it is. Plus I love how you get some great family time each night.

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