A Family Holiday Tradition: Christmas Countdown Books

By Sarah Hauge, Publisher of Macaroni Kid, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Colo. November 22, 2018

Christmastime is filled with family traditions. From special meals to holiday games, there are many ways to make this time of year a memorable one!

A favorite tradition in our house is our Christmas book countdown, a non-traditional Advent calendar of sorts.

It's a simple concept, but one my kids love: Every night in December, my children take turns picking a book from our stack of wrapped holiday reads.

Then we grab a few blankets, snuggle up near the lights of the Christmas tree, and unwrap a book to read as a family. 

Want to bring this tradition to your house? Here's how to create a bit of holiday magic with your own Christmas book countdown!

Supplies Needed:

  • 24 books
  • Wrapping paper
  • Ribbon
  • Labels
  • Tape
  • Scissors


  • Books don't have to be brand new! You can borrow them from the library, trade with a friend, or even pull some favorites from your family's bookshelves!
  • Wrap each book and label 1-24. It's up to you whether you unwrap No. 1 on December 1st or start with book No. 24 and count backwards! Or, don't even label them with numbers at all and let your kids choose one at random each night.

Our Christmas book countdown is a simple holiday tradition, but one my kids -- and I -- look forward to each year! Hope it's an idea that brings your family Christmas joy too. Happy holidays!

Sarah Hauge is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Englewood-Greenwood Village-Centennial, Colo.