December! How on earth is it December already (which I’m pretty sure is going to be one of the opening lines for my Christmas letter this year because, seriously, how is it even possible?)?! I guess it sure feels like it, now, not that you’ll find me complaining about the high 70s we had on Saturday; my little family spent the whole day outside and soaked up every last ounce of warmth and sunshine we could. We knew we’d need it! Now that the freezing cold is here, most likely to stay, we’ve got to find other ways to keep warm and entertained, which leads me to our Christmas Book Countdown. We haven’t ever tried any other sort of advent calendar, but we did a Christmas book a day last year in December and it was a great success. Well, the kids loved it, anyway, and even though I got very sloppy on my plans to record openings/reactions (see here), the grown ups in our house enjoyed it, too. Who doesn’t love getting to open presents early (and what parent doesn’t love gifts that will continue to give, year after year?!).
So here is this year’s countdown. While this looks like the shortest post in the history of my blog, I’ll keep adding to it throughout the month so we have list of this year’s proceedings, no matter how rough my notes get as the actual holiday approaches. We have swapped out a few titles from last year, so some books aren’t in the rotation at all, but the majority of them are ready and waiting in shiny snowflake wrapping paper under our tree right this minute.
1) The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore — HD got to pick first (RL opened – a pattern we’ll keep reversing each day, as Linky is still too little to get it this year and we don’t really want to encourage him grabbing and tearing anything from under the tree just yet!), and while he wanted oh. SO. Badly for the book to be The Polar Express, we got this one instead. HD was bummed but RL was excited and has been carrying it around the house this morning. Last year we took pictures of the kids opening their first book and then of them snuggled up in my lap reading it. This year, Ben supervised the grabbing of the book before he hopped in the shower to get ready for work and I did my best to pry my eyes open as they stood next to my bed, tearing off the paper and looking through it. What a difference a year makes, eh? But in all seriousness, we look forward to continuing this tradition and I am hoping they’ll let their dear, old mama keep doing this for decades to come! And in all fairness, we got this pic yesterday when they were busy sorting them (and in HD’s case, trying to decide which one might be TPE) and preparing to begin the countdown today. Love my little bookworms!
2) The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear by Stan and Jan Berenstain — well, obviously still no sign of TPE, but this title was still met with joyous exclamations (the children love TBB) and immediate crawling in bed, one on each side, by RL & HD for early-morning reading. Good stuff!
3) Richard Scarry’s Best Christmas Book Ever
4) The Polar Express
5) Jingle Bells
6) The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
7) The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tilman – love her books.
8) Santa Comes to Nebraska
9) Busy Town Christmas Board Books
10) An Otis Christmas by Loren Long
11) Olivia Helps with Christmas! by Ian Falconer — Oh, Olivia. You are so funny!!!
12) Thomas the Train: Christmas Delivery
13) The Christmas Story — think managers, not pink bunny PJs.
14) A Star So Bright
15) The Nutcracker by Gail DeMarcken
17) The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
18) Home for Christmas by Jan Brett
19) The Best Christmas Ever – Junior Discovers Contentment by Dave Ramsey
20) The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett
21) Christmas in the Big Woods adopted Laura Ingalls Wilder
22) Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler
23) The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
24) The Legend of St. Nicholas by Dandi Daley Mackcall
25) Merry Christmas, Curious George! by H. A. Rey