24 Days of Christmas – A Book Advent Calendar

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December’s here! You know what that means, right? It’s time to start counting down the arrival of good ol’ St. Nick. Growing up, I remember there was only one form of advent calendar…chocolate!

Now, there are so many options when it comes to how people want to count the days until Christmas arrives and we’ve purchased just about everyone possible in the past – different variations of chocolate and even select brands to give our boys a toy a day. All of these were great fun and yummy but if I’m really truthful with myself…my kids don’t need more sweets and they definitely don’t need more toys.


24 Days of Christmas Calendar - An Advent Calendar Made with BooksI’ve wrapped up 23 children’s Christmas/Winter books individually and the 24th book is wrapped in a special Night before Christmas box – before bed the boys will alternate who gets to pick which book to unwrap, we’ll snuggle up on the couch for a holiday story, I’ll kiss their little heads good night and they’ll go off to dream about Christmas morning while I go and drink some wine.


24 Days of Christmas Book Advent Calendar - The Wish TreeTHE WISH TREE by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham

Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don’t believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.



9780312521394PIP THE LITTLE PENGUIN by Roger Priddy – An Alphaprints Picture Book

Pip is a little penguin with a big imagination! Dissatisfied with being black and white, he asks his dad why he can’t be colorful, like orange orangutans, or pink flamingos, or red foxes. Through his discussion with his dad, follow Pip on his journey of discovery, meeting different animals and learning about color along the way, until he finally concludes (after meeting some pretty cool black-and-white creatures) that he’s fine just as he is.


How to Catch an ELf - Book Advent CalendarHOW TO CATCH AN ELF by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton

You’ve been waiting all year long, and now it’s finally Christmas Eve! Is this the year you’ll finally catch an elf? Start a new Christmas tradition with this hilarious children’s book from the creators of the New York Times best-seller How to Catch a Leprechaun!

“It’s Christmas Eve! Hip hip, hooray! Yes, Santa’s coming ’round. He’s bringing toys to girls and boys in every house in town.”

24 Days of Christmas Book Advent Calendar - Santa's Sleigh is on its way to My HouseSANTA’S SLEIGH IS ON ITS WAY TO MY HOUSE by Eric James and illustrated by Robert Dunn

It’s a magical Christmas Eve, and all of the children in your town are sleeping. Well, all of the children but you! How could you possibly fall asleep when you know Santa and his sleigh are on their way?

I think I just found our Christmas Eve book!

24 Days of Christmas Book Advent Calendar - So Much SnowSO MUCH SNOW by Robert Munsch and Illustrations by Michael Martchenko

There’s a big blizzard blowing in, but that’s not going to stop Jasmine from going to school – it’s just a little snow, and it’s pizza day, after all! But as soon as she sets out the snow starts to come down faster and faster until she finds herself frozen stiff, with just her hat poking out of a snowdrift. How will she get her pizza?

Robert Munsch has been one of my favourite children book authors ever since I was a little girl!


Fox and Squirrel are getting ready for the festive season, but they can’t seem to agree on how to celebrate. It’s only when things fall apart that they realize what really matters at Christmas time: spending the time together.


mittens-to-shareMITTENS TO SHARE by Emil Sher and illustrated by Irene Luxbacher   

The wonder of the winter season is brought to vivid life, in this deceptively simple tale of a young girl who loses her mitten on a crisp, snowy day. Her disappointment is soon swept away when she’s back indoors looking for a new pair, exploring the colours, and textures of an overstuffed box of family mittens. Outside again with dad, she makes an even more endearing discovery that will warm the hearts of all readers.

pippin-the-christmas-pigPIPPIN THE CHRISTMAS PIG by Jean Little and illustrated by Werner Zimmerman

All the animals in the barn know about Christmas. But it takes one little pig to show them what it really means.

A heartwarming story of hope and the true Christmas spirit.


deck-the-hallsDECK THE HALLS: A CANADIAN CHRISTMAS CAROL by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Werner Zimmerman

Join Canada’s favourite porcupine for a hilarious Christmas Eve party! Loons, beavers, moose and more appear, decorating, wrapping gifts, and of course, eating holiday goodies… until the big surprise is unveiled!


verychristmascoverVERY CHRISTMAS by Simone Arts

When Santa’s workshop is destroyed by a ferocious storm, even the richest man in the world is stumped for a way to save Christmas. Just when everyone seems to give up all hope, the unstumpable Ava Buttons, together with her friends, discover a way to make Christmas wishes come true. Motivated by a desire to help others, Ava converts even her naughtiest friend, Rowdy Meyers, from an enthusiastic getter to a champion giver.

9780998159102-jpgTHE 12 JOYS of CHRISTMAS by Thomas K, Seibold

Long after the gifts are opened, the wrapping paper discarded, the toys forgotten, it is our memories of Christmas that remain. The 12 Joys of Christmas celebrates the timeless sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings of a holiday that brings families and friends together in a season of shared ideals, traditions, and lasting joys.




This new tradition will not only allow us to spend a few extra minutes together before bed but we’ll also create some new memories the boys can cherish and possibly pass on to their own family when they’re older.

What kind of advent calendar will you be using as a countdown to Christmas?

Thank you to Raincoast Books, Smith Publicity and Scholastic Canada for providing these titles for our 24 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar.




  • Margaret MacKenzie

    I love this idea! Every year, I say that I am going to do this and every year, I forget! I am writing it on my Mum’s calendar for next year! Thanks for the reminder! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • Elizabeth Matthiesen

    What a wonderful idea. I just finished my grandson’s new Advent Calendar in cross stitch in time this year, he’s been using his dad’s up to now. You should have seen his face when he saw his dad’s was empty on the morning of Dec 1st but boy did he light up when he saw he had his very own filled with tiny little presents. 🙂

    • Amanda

      Aww…you totally just put a smile on my face! I tried to make an advent calendar out of felt and it was a disaster – let’s just say I’m not the creative type like you 😉

  • Rosanne Robinson

    This is a terrific idea, my grandson loves to read and is always looking for new books to enjoy.

    • Amanda

      I already knew that they loved books but I can’t even get my jacket off most days before they’re rushing to pick one. And it’s the first time EVER my 4-year-old hasn’t freaked out because he has to take turns with his big brother.