How to do a Christmas book advent calendar

As a kid I used to love advent calendars. They were always the cheap, sickly sweet chocolate varieties, but oh boy, were they amazing. However amazing I remember them being, I wanted to have something a little different for my daughter. A Christmas book advent calendar. It is so simple - you get 24 books, wrap them, number them, mix them up, and there you go.

I am hoping that this will become a nice little tradition in our family. It seems like such a lovely way to gift books and grow the love of reading from a young age.

You might think that this is just a silly expense. Books can be quite pricey, especially when you want to get 24 of them! However, you only need to buy them once. Then you can use most of them again and again coming Christmases.

Also, it doesn't need to be a prohibitively expensive exercise. To make a Christmas book advent calendar on a budget I would recommend:

  • Ask Christmas books as Christmas gifts - you can always reuse them the following years. 
  • Check out charity shops, and discount stores. Some online stores I find have often good deals are The Works and Book People
  • Go to the library! Free and you can get a bunch of new ones next year, so there won't be too much repetition.
  • Choose festive and seasonal books - some books could be about winter, snow, gifts etc rather than just about Christmas. You will get longer use out of these books.  

Some of my favourites in our collection are:

Waterstones have also got a great list of some new festive books worth checking out.

Regarding the books you see in the above picture, I wasn't too strict about the books I chose. Some are Christmas related, some are sort of about winter and snow (like snow bears and penguins...) so will be appropriate even past December.  Additionally, if you are wondering why some of the books in the picture have strange titles, they are in Finnish.  We have books in both languages as we raise our daughter bilingually.

What are you doing for an advent calendar? Books, chocolates, toys, or traditional paper?

How to do a Christmas book advent calendar. Ideas for books to include in a Christmas calendar and how to save cost.


  1. Lovely idea!! We are doing crafty calendar this year... 1 craft a day for 24 days :) It is a bit more like craft marathon at the moment, we are behind with one of the crafts but kids are generally keeping up ;)

    1. That sounds like such a fab idea! I am not amazingly crafty but that might be something to try next year :) other nice ideas I have heard of are doing an activity calendar and doing book chapters, or little books in the same series for the calendar.

  2. This is a great advent calendar idea. We've already got our kids chocolate calendars, but having seen your post I'm now thinking that maybe in addition to chocolate we could also do the book one... the only problem is that our children are 5 and 8, a boy and a girl, so that would probably mean getting 48 books :0

    1. Oh yes do the book one! I think you could get away with just 24 books - they are fairly close in age so might enjoy similar books. Maybe. Or you could do it so they get each 12 books so open on alternate nights?


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