Christmas Countdown 25 Days of Books

Here’s a simple and fun Christmas Countdown 25 Days of Books activity we enjoy every year and my kids look forward to doing.

christmas book countdown


Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition from your childhood? Traditions are so much fun especially around this time of the year.  One of our family favorites that’s simple to put together has been our Christmas Book Countdown.  We’ve done this tradition since my first born was two years old. We’ve done it various ways depending on how busy we are and how tight our budget is for that year.

Here are some tips for those of us who are busy and have a tight budget:

  • Instead of purchasing books, check them out from the library. Wrap them up and put them under the tree. Obviously, you can’t keep these books but when we did this it was just as fun for my kiddos. They loved opening up a present each day so it didn’t matter to them that these books would be returned. I did explain to them ahead of time that these belonged to the library.
  • Start buying books before Christmas day at yard sales or when there are book sales.  This is what we did as you can tell from our picture above some of our books are not new.
  • If 25 days countdown is too much, shorten it to fit your schedule. We’ve done 7 days or 12 days of Christmas books countdown.
  • Recycle books. If you have books that have been “lost” on the book shelf. Wrap it up and watch how surprised your child is that they got this “new” book. You can also join a book exchange, this way you get to recycle a lot of your used books for “new” ones.
  • Use fabric bags so you can recycle them and use them every year. I made some simple burlap bags for our books (pictured above).


One of the things I didn’t realize before starting this tradition in our home, is this activity helps my kids with the built up anticipation of opening up gifts on Christmas day. When they are young, the anticipation of waiting for a gift for 25 days makes them a bit self-centered (which partly has to do with their age).  So, on the Christmas day they charge into opening up the gifts without thinking about who gave it to them or even considering what they received.   But opening something small and meaningful each day is a wonderful way for my kids to savor each gift. Surprisingly enough, it has helped them enjoy the gift of receiving which in turn encourages them to want to give gifts.  It’s been fascinating to watch this process unfold.

Basically, we place 25 books in our recycled gift bags and I place them under the tree. Each book has a number on them and that is the one that is opened for the day.   I have three boys so they take turns opening up a book.  I don’t have them each open a book for the night as that would be crazy expensive. My kids open it up right before bed and then we enjoy the book for our bedtime reading.

So choose how long you want to do your countdown for 25, 12, 7 days…. and enjoy a book each day as you celebrate the gift of giving, receiving and reading.

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