Start a new holiday family tradition with an advent/Christmas calendar book countdown with 28 holiday books and free printable labels!

28 advent calendar book countdown plus free printable labels!  Get into the Christmas spirit and keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind with a Christmas book countdown.

So, this post should have been published like 2 weeks ago to give you enough time to get everything together for Advent (which starts in a few days) or the start of December.

But, of course we couldn’t find the bin with all the Christmas books in it.  Oops!

Anyway, I am SO excited to share one of our favorite Christmas traditions with you today. And this is only the second year we are doing it!

We think it’s so important to keep our heads on straight through the holiday season.  And not just ours, but our little boys’ as well.  The hustle and bustle of December often leaves you with little time to sleep or eat let alone reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Being at an age where the boys think Christmas is all about getting presents, it seemed especially important to remind them just why we celebrate this holiday.  Why giving is more important than receiving.  Why kindness, joy, and forgiveness are more important than the number of presents you unwrap.

While I try to do a number of different activities with the kids (Jesse Tree ornaments are a favorite!!) to keep their focus on giving and the birth of Jesus, we so often find ourselves with very little extra time.

One time we can always rely on that comes every day is bedtime (THANKFULLY!!).  I love snuggling with my little boys and reading a bedtime story.  It’s the one time of the day I can count on them to be calm and still for more than 5 seconds (most of the time).

So, bedtime is the absolute perfect time to unwind, snuggle up and read a Christmas/Advent/Joyful story.

Plus, did I mention they like to unwrap presents??  I wrap those books up and they will eagerly unwrap each one.

After last year, we packed all the books up to keep them special.  If they can read them all year long it’s certainly not going to be as exciting of an experience for them.

But, it’s not about unwrapping, it’s about the sweet message each book brings that will hopefully sink in for these little boys.

Now, there are 28 days in Advent and just 24 in December until Christmas.  We start opening books the first Sunday of Advent but I don’t start using the printable labels until the first of December.

So, what books do we use?

Below I’ve listed all the books we are reading this year (28 in total).

There are several religious ones (Happy Birthday, Jesus!), a few cute and gooey feeling books (Bear Stays Up – seriously so cute), and some holiday staples (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!).

I don’t wrap/label in any particular order except that the Night Before Christmas is read … well… on the night before Christmas 🙂

They also aren’t listed in any particular order below, just how I pulled them out of the bin.

Keep in mind my kiddos are ~2 and 4.  If your kids are 10 or 6 months, the same books may not apply.


Printable Labels:

Now to wrap allllll of these books, we used regular kraft paper that you can buy anywhere and some simple red and white twine + the printable labels.

You could also print these out on brown kraft paper and wrap the gifts in black paper or regular white paper.

Click the links below to download (will open in new tab, save to your computer):

Printable Labels 1

Printable Labels 2

Printable Labels 3

Here’s one finished, wrapped book!

28 advent calendar book countdown plus free printable labels!  Get into the Christmas spirit and keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind with a Christmas book countdown.

Alright, friends!  Since it’s officially the Christmas season you can expect TONS of Christmas DIYs coming your way.  I’ve got garland, a wreath, ornaments and a Christmas card holder planned as of right now.  Plus, whatever else I come up with along the way.

Hope you have a lovely start to the holidays 🙂

Wishing you a joyful day!

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8 Comments

  1. Sabrina

    What a beautiful idea for an advent calendar. I love it so so much, thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Lora

    I think this is such a lovely Advent Calendar idea! Thanks for the printable, and the book ideas. We try to get the kids 1 Christmas book each year, so this is a great resource.

    Reply
    • Sarah @ Making Joy and Pretty Things

      That’s a great idea!! I got most of the books either at Half Priced Books or used via Amazon. It’s amazing how cheap it is to get books!

      Reply
  3. zan

    I love this new tradition you started. Kids love books of all kinds and these stories look like so much fun. I spy a few that we have on hand but many of these, we don’t have. Winding down at nights with a good book is always a welcome idea for everyone.

    Reply
    • Sarah @ Making Joy and Pretty Things

      YES! It’s a great time to get the kiddos to rest for a minute in preparation for bedtime. And what kid doesn’t love unwrapping a gift?? We have and love all the books I listed!

      Reply
  4. vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

    This is such a lovely tradition! I love it!
    When Ella gets older and actually listens to a full book at bedtime, I might have to copy this idea. 😉
    XO! Vanessa

    Reply
    • Sarah @ Making Joy and Pretty Things

      It’s been such a great tradition for us, you know, for 2 years 😉 Honestly my youngest doesn’t always sit and listen but the oldest does (4yo vs almost 2yo). You’ll have to try it out when she’s older!

      Reply

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