I suppose this is another sort of Advent/countdown calendar. We started this tradition last year and it was one of the girls most favourite. Maybe it is the excitement of opening a 'present' each night, or just reading Christmas stories but it is a lovely tradition that we enjoy.
Each year I buy another Christmas book or two (usually when very cheap on sale) Some of these have also been gifts from other people over the years. I don't have 24 yet, so we sometimes add christmas books borrowed from the library. Also I sometimes rewrap some of the books, and add them back to the pile, so we have enough to go for 24 days.
Some of our favourites are:
Santasaurus - in a house full of dinosaur lovers this one is a hit, I also LOVE the whimsical drawings in this one. The house and city are so colourful and imaginative
Why I love Christmas - This one has the Southern Hemisphere in mind as one of the pages says "I love Christmas because its HOT outside" and also has pictures of kangaroos and koalas decorating trees with flowers and natural items.
Once there was a Christmas Tree - This has a squishy tree on the front page filled with glitter! The Girls love it. I LOVE the story. About a bear family whose Christmas Tree is too big for their house so they cut it in half and give to the fox family. Who then cut it in half to give to Old MR rabbit, who cuts it in half again to give to the mouse family. Very good story about giving and the spirit of Christmas. "We had a tree and made it two - one half for us one half for you"
The Night before Christmas - This one was given to us by some dear friends. The girls love to read the inscription mentioning their friend who has since moved far away. Who doesn't love The night before Christmas?
Most of the other books are religious ones and we love to see the Nativity story in many different ways! There are also a few books about Christmas Carols that came with CD's and we play them while reading.
Last year I felt a bit guilty in the waste of all the wrapping paper so this year we used Newspaper as well. I covered half in decorated newspaper and half in wrapping paper. We used cookie cutters and paint to decorate.
Place books in a box or basket under the tree and enjoy reading each night. You could even number the books if you wanted it more Advent style.