Traditionally, our family purchases our Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. By December 1st, the tree is lit, decorated, and has 24 presents beneath its branches.
These "presents" aren't typical Christmas gifts. They are our treasured Christmas books we have collected over the years. Some of them tell the story of the Nativity, some of them are strictly Santa Claus, but all of them have something to do with the holiday season.
Every night until Christmas Day, we unwrap one "gift" and read it together as a family, just before the kids head to bed.
The first year we started this tradition, we only had a few books- no where near the 24 needed. So, I headed down to the local library and checked out 20 Christmas books to wrap up.
Each year, I have purchased a few books, and we have recieved some as gifts, so we have had to rely less and less on the library for our Christmas book collection. One hint if you use Library books: wrap them in different paper than your other books. Have your children choose from those books under the tree first, so they can make it back to the library before they are due.
Some of our favorites: Christmas Oranges, A Christmas Dress for Ellen, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and of course, T'was the Night Before Christmas.
At the end of December, the Christmas book collection gets boxed up with the rest of the decorations. This keeps the books in good condition, and also keeps the excitement alive for the next year. "Oh yes, I remember this one!!" has already been heard a few times this year at our house.
I am on the lookout for a Christmas book to add to our collection this year. Any recommendations?