I love advent calendars. As a little girl, my mom would always buy us those chocolate ones where you opened the door each day and got a small chocolate. She still gets them every year, but now she gets them for the grandkids :). Also as a little girl, we had this calendar that was a wall hanging and everyday you got to take a small ornament and hang it on the sequins on the Christmas tree on the hanging. Jennie and I loved it, and we'd always come up with some elaborate plan to make sure that we each got to take turns but also that we got to open the one on our birthdays and didn't get to open more than the other. (Our birthdays are the 12th and 14th, so we couldn't just do evens and odds). I also think there were a few years where Dad got to do the 24th (which was always a Santa ornament) to avoid fighting.
Anyway, I've wanted to do something like this with my family, and I've found this cute wooden tree with ornaments to hang on it, but Kaity's a bit too young to really enjoy the countdown. I have a few friends who have been doing a book countdown with their little ones, and since I have so many Christmas books anyway, I thought we'd give it a shot. Kaity has loved unwrapping a book each day, and so far has done a really good job at only taking one.
So, I've got 24 Christmas books (kid picture ones) and I've wrapped each one. You can number them if you want, but I just let Kaity pick whichever she wants to open. The only exception is the Night Before Christmas, which has to be opened on Christmas Eve as per Jared's family tradition. Here are the books we've opened so far:
This is a cute little board book with a simple rhyme that chronicles all the individual players of the nativity story. Kaity loves turning to the pages and pointing out the star, the sheep (maa, maa), the ox (moo, moo), and of course, the baby.
The First Christmas by Carol Heyer
This book is so beautifully illustrated, but it also tells the story of Jesus, beginning with the annunciation to Mary, including the flight into Egypt, and ends with Jesus growing up to begin His ministry. I love that it tells the entire story, usually Christmas books just tell about the nativity scene itself.