So I actually took this idea from my friend Carrie. I read about it on her blog and decided that this year, I was going to do it, too!
I went through our bookshelves and collected all of our Christmas books. There weren't quite enough, so I then decided to use any winter stories as well (Carrie went to the library-- I worried about not finding enough Christmas stories, and having them too long/overdue). I came up with 24 Christmas and winter stories and wrapped them up in our Christmas wrapping paper. Each night, one of my boys gets to select a story to unwrap, counting us down until Christmas. Carrie has a super cute basket that she put hers in. Mine are just stacked on the little end table. I love the idea of a basket, though.
I first started wrapping the books in the kitchen. But then I had nosy boys who wouldn't let "I'll tell you when I'm ready" be a good enough answer. I got questions like, "Why are you wrapping books that we already have?" and "What are we going to do with all those? Are we giving them away?" I wanted to tell them when it was all finished. So I took the wrapping to my room. When I brought them all out, my youngest son said, "I know those are books, Mom. Are we supposed to know they are books?" I said, "Yes, it's okay that you know they are books." He then said, "I want to open one!" Who doesn't like opening presents early? Even when you know it's a book.
It has been really fun. We have everything from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Queen of Christmas, and Mouse's First Christmas to Owl Moon, Snow, and Bear Snores On. Of course there is the classic The Night Before Christmas, but I forgot to mark it so it would be last. I don't remember how I wrapped it, so it'll just have to be read when it is unwrapped! Some stories are silly (There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell) and some help us remember why we celebrate Christmas (Tomie's Little Christmas Pageant).
What better way to count down to Christmas than by opening a present every night--and then reading it?