Christmas Book Countdown Tradition

Now that it’s December, are you ready to talk about ALL things Christmas?! I sure am! One of my favorite things to share each year is our Christmas Book Countdown. We started this tradition in 2015, and it is a tradition that my kids anticipate every single year. I learned about this idea from Sarah over at First Grader… At Last! Now that my kiddos are 13 and 10, I thought that they might feel too “old” for our Christmas Book Countdown, but they specifically asked to keep it going!

Today I’m going to share the details as well as our book selections for 2022!

For all of my FAVORITE Christmas books, click HERE!

What is a Christmas Book Countdown?

In years past on December 1st, we begin our Christmas Book Countdown. The kids open a book each night that we read before bed. We open Christmas themed books, but really any kind of book would be fun! If you don’t want to do all Christmas books, this would be a great way to add to your book collection with any picture books your children would enjoy.

Last year we started the 12 Days of Christmas Books. We are going to continue with that this year. So, the 12 days before Christmas we will open a story and read it together before bed. The older our children get, the busier their schedules become, so 12 days just makes more sense for us right now!

Christmas Book Countdown 3

Alternative Ideas for a Christmas Book Countdown

For many years we opened a Christmas book each night in December. I was purchasing 24 new Christmas books each year. However, that is NOT necessary! Here are some other ideas:

  1. Wrap the same books every year. Store the books each year after Christmas so that your kids will be excited to pull them back out. They will also develop fond memories with these specific books!
  2. Add to your collection each year, but keep the majority of the books the same. You can find just 1-2 new books to add to your Christmas book collection. This allows you to continue finding and adding picture books, but you don’t have to purchase a whole new set every single year!
  3. You don’t have to do EVERY day in December! Wrap 5-10 books and open them sporadically throughout the month!

Christmas Book Countdown 2022

Like I mentioned above, this year we are going to open 12 new Christmas books. Here’s our line up for the year.

Christmas Book Countdown

As I was pre-reading our books for the year, I took a few notes about each one. You’ll find that next to each title.

  1. Super Santa (has really great illustrations, pulls in science and math)
  2. Home Alone (this is my kids’ favorite movie, so I just HAD to get it!)
  3. Santa’s Secret (beautiful illustrations, representation)
  4. Reindeer on Strike (cute story about the reindeer feeling overworked, use with perspective)
  5. Cats Don’t Like Christmas (silly story, use with point of view)
  6. Zetta the Poinsettia (lesson: understanding your purpose)
  7. The Perfect Tree (heartfelt story about friendship and being together during the holidays)
  8. Everybody’s Tree (make connections to other texts about the Rockefeller tree)
  9. The Lonely Little Christmas Tree (lesson: kindness can go a long way, validating feelings of loneliness)
  10. The Candy Cane Fiasco (silly book, use for rhyming)
  11. How to Catch a Reindeer (could be used with procedural writing)
  12. I Saw Santa’s Underpants (fun and silly book, use with problem and solution)

I’m MOST looking forward to reading Home Alone with Israel and Joelle. They have seen the movie 100 times, but still laugh their way through it!

Wrapping and Labeling the Books

After I have chosen the books for the year, I wrap them all at once so that they are ready to go. You can download the numbers I used for the countdown HERE!

Christmas Book Countdown 4

Finding the Books

Buying books each year can add up… this is why I recommend some of the other options that I listed above. But, here’s what I do every year:

  1. I always start on Scholastic. I search their website high and low to find the best Christmas book deals. As I am doing this, I compare the prices to Amazon. I buy as many as I can from Scholastic. They also have really great bundles of Christmas books that help save even more money.
  2. I look for the books for the next year right after Christmas. This allows me to get the best prices! If I waited until the month before Christmas, I would be paying top dollar for each book! Starting early is KEY!
  3. We don’t have a lot of book stores around us anymore, but if we stop by a Half Price Bookstore, I always check out their selection.

Save for Later

I think that about explains our Christmas Book Countdown Tradition! Pin the image below to save for later!

Christmas Book Countdown 1

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Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


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