Every year, I wrap up 24 books and use them as the boys’ Christmas countdown. They get to open one a night and when we’re fresh out of books, it’ll be Christmas. We clean off Saurus’ bookshelves on November 30th so they can watch the fun Christmas books accumulate on the shelves too. It helps a ton with little boys who have no concept of dates or “Christmas is still 10 days away and you can’t open all the presents right now”. It’s also really fun for the boys to get to open a “present” a night.
Saurus: So Santa’s coming tonight?
Me: No. Two more weeks.
Saurus: So tonight?
Me: No. 14 more nights.
Saurus: So when I wake up from my nap, Santa will come?
Me: No. Are you out of books yet?
Saurus: No. So Santa comes when I’m all out of books?
Saurus: So Santa comes tomorrow?
I recycle most of the same books every year but always throw a couple of new ones into the mix. One of the new ones this year was How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In English. (We’d previously only had the Latin and French versions)
Saurus: Mom! The Grinch! I love the Grinch! Now I can read it!
Me: Someday you’ll ask me why I never taught you languages. Let the record show that I tried.
The Christmas Eve story is always The Polar Express and each boy gets one new one in their stocking on Christmas. Eventually (okay, next year), I’ll be at the point where there are enough books for each boy to have one to open every night so if you have any recommendations for us, send ’em over!
Here are our 25 favorites from this year, in no particular order:
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas // Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
The Night Before Christmas // Clement Moore & Mary Engelbreit
Merry Christmas, Curious George // Margaret & H.A. Rey
The Jolly Christmas Postman // Janet & Allan Ahlberg
How the Grinch Stole Christmas // Dr. Seuss
Gingerbread Baby // Jan Brett
Home for Christmas // Jan Brett
Christmas Wombat // Jackie French & Bruce Whatley
Little Blue Truck’s Christmas // Alice Schertle & Jill McElmurry
Merry Christmas, Mouse // Laura Numeroff & Felicia Bond
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree // Robert Barry
Llama Llama Jingle Bells // Anna Dewdney
Duck & Goose It’s Time for Christmas // Tad Hills
Ten on the Sled // Kim Norman & Liza Woodruff
Bear Stays Up for Christmas // Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman
The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas // Anne Muecke & Nathan Hale
Snowmen at Christmas // Caralyn & Mark Buehner
Christmas in the Manger // Nola Buck & Felicia Bond
Song of the Stars // Sally Lloyd-Jones & Alison Jay
Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! // Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin
Hurry! Hurry! Have You Heard? // Laura Krauss Melmed & Jane Dyer
How to Catch Santa // Jean Reagan & Lee Wildish
The Story of Christmas // Dawn Machell
An Otis Christmas // Loren Long
The Polar Express // Chris Van Allsburg