Christmas Book Countdown

One of our favorite Christmas traditions each year is our Christmas Book Countdown. We started this tradition in 2015, and it’s one that my kids anticipate every single year. Today I’m going to share ALL the details with you. I will share how we do the Christmas Book Countdown as well as some alternative ideas!

christmas book countdown 5

What is a Christmas Book Countdown?

Every year 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.

christmas book countdown 1

About the Books

For the past 5 years I have purchased 24 Christmas books for our countdown. HOWEVER, you do NOT have to purchase new books each year. Here are some other options:

  1. Many families wrap the same books every year. They store the books each year after Christmas so that their kids will be excited to pull them back out!
  2. Some families add to their collection each year, but keep the majority the same. So, they may wrap 20 from the previous year but add in 4 new ones that they found. This is a great way to add new books to your countdown without having to buy all new books.
  3. Other families do the 12 days of Christmas rather than a 24 day countdown. I think this is what we are going to do next year!

Some years I label the books with a countdown number, and other years I leave them blank and just let the kids choose a book each night. They enjoy both ways! One year I added a Bible verse to the tags. Each night we read the book and a verse. You can find out more about that HERE.

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What do you do with all those books?

We have A LOT of books. It’s partly because of my job and partly because my kids just LOVE books. When we are packing up our Christmas decor after the season, I put all of the Christmas books into plastic bins. We store them in our attic until the next year.

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Then, we pull them back out the next year as we are decorating for Christmas. Do you see the red bins under the black bench? That’s where I put the Christmas books. The kids can easily slide the baskets out and read books throughout the season! Joelle is 11 and she still loves looking through all of our books. They have such fond memories of reading the books over the years. She has also made it very clear that I am not to get rid of any of the books! She wants to pass them down to her children one day 🙂


This Year’s Christmas Books

Here is our line-up for Christmas 2020! I haven’t read all of them yet, so I can’t make recommendations right now. However, many of these were suggested by my fellow teacher friends. I’ll add my favorites to my Christmas Book list on Amazon as the season progresses.

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Where I Buy the Books

24 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.

Our favorite Christmas Books

Last year I sat down with Joelle and Israel and we looked through ALL of our Christmas books. We pulled out the very best and compiled lists of our favorites. Here they are (broken down by category). OR, you can just click HERE to see them all in one place on Amazon.

Santa Picture Books

santa picture books christmas
  1. Santa’s Underwear
  2. Santa’s Book of Names
  3. How Santa Got His Job
  4. Santa Bruce
  5. The Animals’ Santa
  6. When Santa Was a Baby
  7. How to Catch Santa
  8. The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold
  9. Santa’s Stuck

Christmas Tree Books

christmas tree picture books
  1. Pick a Pine Tree
  2. Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree
  3. The Great Spruce
  4. The Carpenter’s Gift
  5. Red and Lulu
  6. The Christmas Eve Tree
  7. The Last Christmas Tree
  8. Night Tree
  9. A Wish to be a Christmas Tree
  10. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree

The Nativity Picture Books

nativity Christmas Books
  1. Silent Night
  2. Song of the Stars
  3. Humphrey’s First Christmas
  4. Goodnight Manger
  5. Twas the Evening of Christmas
  6. The Christmas Baby
  7. The Birds of Bethlehem
  8. The Christmas Promise
  9. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

Christmas Books with African American Lead Characters

  1. I Got the Christmas Spirit
  2. The Nutcracker in Harlem
  3. Grace at Christmas
  4. The 12 Trains of Christmas (I bought this book from Scholastic)
  5. Christmas Makes Me Think
  6. The Night Before Christmas by Rachel Isadora (this book is difficult to find online, but your library may have it!)
  7. The Day Santa Got Sick
  8. The Night Before Christmas: An African American Retelling

Reindeer Christmas Books

reindeer christmas books
Christmas book countdown
  1. Reindeer Christmas
  2. Olive, the Other Reindeer
  3. The Wild Christmas Reindeer
  4. Santa’s Reindeer Games
  5. The Great Reindeer Rebellion
  6. The Little Reindeer
  7. Last Stop on the Reindeer Express

I hope that helps answer any questions you may have had about our Christmas Book Countdown. If you still have questions, leave them in the comments below!

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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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