In addition to our Random Acts of Advent calendar, I wanted to introduce a new advent idea for this Christmas season. I love and adore children's picture books and, being an illustrator myself, have quite a collection of them. As of last year, I decided that I wanted to collect enough children's Christmas picture books to be wrapped, opened and then read every day in December up until Christmas. I was hoping to share this idea with you before the first day of December, but I just recently completed my entire collection of 25 Christmas themed picture books! So what a better day to share the advent fun but on the first day of December?
I had a lot of fun wrapping and adorning these books. I used a variety of papers including white butcher paper and a selection of really fun wrapping papers from Fifth & Hazel. The above geometric print is one my fav's.
I then used an assortment of trimmings and trappings including simple little tags on which I wrote the days of the month, counting down to Christmas.
I know a lot of advent's end on the 24th but I thought it would be fun to read one more story on Christmas night (the 25th) to end the season on a nice note.
Collecting 25 books might seem like an endeavor but it's actually not too bad as there as so many great Christmas and winter themed books out there. In fact, it might be hard to pick just 25! Our little collection began from a few books that were given to us along with a few we had purchased. Last year, when I knew I wanted to do this, I decided to wait until the after Christmas sales to purchase a number of books, which I highly recommend if you want to do this next year. I also purchased a number from the Scholastic book club, which made things more affordable. But I have to say, some of my favorite purchases were made recently from thrift stores. I was able to find an original Golden Book Rudolf and the super great Babaar and Father Christmas book. This one is utterly gorgeous and I can't wait to read it.
So these are the books we're going to be reading this December (and I have to confess that I can't vouch for all of them as I wanted to be surprised with a few of them as well...but I'm sure they're all going to be great).
1. Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka (I was drawn to the illustrations in this book)
2. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney (we haven't read this but my boys love the first Llama Llama book so I'm sure they will be delighted with this one)
3. Golden Book's The Christmas Donkey by T. William, illustrated by Andrea Brooks
4. I'll Be There With Belzon by Kirk Richards (Kirk is an old high school friend of Jon's and we love his work)
5. Babar and Father Christmas by Jean De Brunhoff
6. It's Christmas, David! by David Shannon
7. Stella, Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay
8. Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
9. Christmas Lights by Susan Mitchell (this book was given to Little A for his first Christmas. I love remembering those precious times when we read this and the boys love to see all the flashing ligths)
10. The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Klastrup, illustrated by Matt Tavares
11. Ho, Ho, Ho, Tucker! by Leslie McGuirk
12. The Stable Where Jesus Was Born by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Susan Gaber
13. The Snowman, lift-and-look book, by Raymond Briggs (Love this classic and my boys can't get enough of the flaps)
14. The Elves and the Shoemaker by John Cech, illlustrated by Kirill Chelushkin
15. My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, illustrated by H. B. Lewis (I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Cody Kimmel - I was lucky enough to illustrate her Suddenly Supernatural series - and My Penguin Osbert doesn't disappoint. We love it.)
16. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Suess (a classic, need I say more?)
17. B is for Bethlehem by Isabel Wilner, illustrated by Elisa Kleven
18. Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera
19. Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas by Elise Primavera
20. Golden Book's Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
21. Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt, illustrated by Raul Colon
22. The Nutcracker adapted by John Cech, illustrated by Eric Puybaret
23. Snowman at Christmas by Mark Buehner, illustrated Caralyn Buehner
24. For Christmas Even, First Christmas a changing picture book beautifully illustrated by Sophie Williams
25. and for Christmas night, we went with Silent Night, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
When the books were all wrapped I placed them in front of our fireplace. I'll have to find a new place for them when we want to light a fire of course but for now, we are enjoying it.
Oh and I had to share with you the vintage serving tray I found at a local thrift store. I'm seriously in love with it. I mean a retro fondue party scene? Does it get any better than that?
At any rate, we are excited to start the count down and I'm certain that this new little tradition will add such a nice touch to the season.
Now all we need is a tree...I'm thinking left of the fireplace should do quite nicely...
- Oh, and what I need from you now is for you to tell me your favorite Christmas book. With this new tradition, we'll always be in the market!