Book Reviews

A Bookish Advent or Holiday Calendar! Now With Options for the Slacker Mom! And My Advent Calendar Book Picks

If you love books, chances are very good that you have a favorite Christmas or holiday book! And the countdown to holidays is made more fun for kids with an Advent or advent-style calendar of books on the holiday! Today, I’m giving you ideas for doing this as well as giving my Advent Calendar book picks. Yes, I’m a few days late, but most Moms with littles struggle to keep up anyway, right? So I no longer have little kiddos, but I remember the struggle to get everything ready on time.

The Examples


While the blogger who posted this photo has ceased blogging, this is the most common form of book calendar–a box or basket of books, wrapped and numbered. This project uses up all those scraps of wrapping paper you have around. You could even wrap some in the kids’ own “wrapping paper”–drawings or coloring pages or Christmas scenes. If you are a crafty person, or have a Grandpa who loves woodworking, you could make a personalized box to be a future heirloom like the Christmas Eve boxes I talked about in this post







Going upstairs to be this month? Grab a book from the banister! What a gorgeous presentation this makes! While this blog shows presents in general, this would work great for books. Outstanding, Froken Knopp!






Living, Laughing Loving blog did this simple presentation for their book advent calendar. I really like this one for its simplicity–just a touch of holiday colors.








This blog post has an adorable collection of book-themed advent calendars done in the cutest ways!! Great job, My Little Bookcase blog!

Interested in sharing with your children about Christmas around the world? Here’s a list for that.





Books Lists for other Faiths and other Holidays


Here are two great Hanukkah book lists! List one, list two.

Kwanza, too, has great books. Here is a list.

What We Do All Day has a great Inter-faith book list for family with parents of more than one faith.

Carrots are Orange complied a nice list of Winter Solstice books for kids.



Thank you, Mollie & Gideon, for the photo of your books. I know you made this messy just for me! Merry Christmas

Slacker Mom options–for those who are slack about all but reading

Option One

Write titles on slip of paper culled from a bill envelope. Put them in an empty Kleenex box or lidless Tupperware, water bottle with no lid etc and pull one out on the nights you remember. Make mental note to number the books with a Sharpie for next year to avoid scribbling all the titles again. (It won’t happen of course).

Option Two

Grab a book from the floor, back of the van, back of the toilet or where ever the Christmas books were carried recently by your kid and read one per night.

Option Three:

The child who whined least, or ate the kale or didn’t pick nose or wiped without help (whatever your “thing” is) gets to pick the book.

My Advent Calendar Book Choices

All photos are from Amazon and all books are available there, but a few are out-of-print so only available used and may be very expensive. I never make any money off your clicks.


Yes, you are right. There are more than 24. In fact we often read way more! But here is why. First, the Paw Patrol book is symbolic of all the tv/movie tie-in books that you swear you’ll never buy, but somehow a few seep in!  We went to the library each Saturday, so they were able to pick a few of those there as well. They are GREAT for bribing kids to sit thru the book YOU want them to hear! So, add a few of those. The very old Twilight Stories book contains Christmas in the Mousehole which stands in for the books you simply MUST read each year from your own childhood. Every Sunday we read a version of the Bible story of Christ’s birth. There is a good mix here of fun and serious books.No, there aren’t a lot of Christian publishers represented here. This is because I don’t like some of the highly touted Christian publishers’ offerings. Fake legends are not my thing.


During Hanukkah, I also read them stories of that holiday. I cooked traditional foods-recipes taught by a college friend. We did not light candles but, for a few years, we played with the driedel and I bought foil-covered chocolate coins to go along with it. So, the Oskar and the Eight Blessings book is representative of those.  I usually made sure we read a Kwanaza book  and a winter book, for the Winter Solstice, one night as well. We also have a large one-volume of Christmas stories from around the world. The Legend of the Poinsetta is in there. I made a few international treats over the years to go with a few of those stories–or similar ones from the library.


What’s missing? I wish there was a beautiful picture book for kids of Handel’s Messiah, especially the Hallelujah Chorus I also wish there were more story versions of great Christmas carols and songs. I did find this, but haven’t seen it. I was excited to see Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You, but didn’t include it because I haven’t actually seen it. I think Marshmallow World and the Frank Sinatra classic J-I-N-G-L-E Bells would both be GREAT picture books! Oh, if I could just create illustrations!

How about you? Have you posted your Advent Calendar of Books? A list of Favorite Christmas storybooks? Leave me a comment or a link.

13 thoughts on “A Bookish Advent or Holiday Calendar! Now With Options for the Slacker Mom! And My Advent Calendar Book Picks

  1. These are all awesome suggestions! I see some favorites in the book piles and some new ones to read. Thanks for pulling this together! The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola is currently our favorite read….though favorites change like clockwork around here!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Book advent calendars are such a good idea. Olivia is such a book worm i think she would really like this. Next year if he is still into her books i think I’m definitely going to do, will have to get myself organised.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first year my sister came over with her stash of carefully folded used wrapping paper, in a glorious assortment of colors and patterns, and we wrapped up all the books. Each night one kid would pick one to unwrap. The next two years, I wrapped them on my own, using just the one leftover roll of paper. This year I told the kids to do it. They wrapped about five books and got bored, so they started just closing their eyes and grabbing a book out of the bag. It works for this Slacker Mom!

    Liked by 1 person

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