The Book Advent, Our New Holiday Tradition

The holidays are about tradition, old and new. (Maybe too often just old ones.) We’re trying to make a new one with our 11-month-old Oliver this year: an advent calendar of reading. We’re aiming for a book a day up to Christmas (which we celebrate).

A recent study showed that having a library of books in the home is the second-highest predictor of kids’ reading performance besides the overall economy. Having a hundred (or so) books around can give kids a year-and-a-half of extra reading level performance.

Here’s a list of what we’ve chosen for Oliver this year. (Not just books, but a cute stuffed animal and pajamas, as well.) Don’t consider this a hard-and-fast guide, by any means! Whether you’re buying books new, grabbing them from the library, or taking advantage of the excellent deals on used books through Amazon resellers, the important idea is just the reading itself. You can do this without spending a penny—or not many pennies, at least.

Christmas Pajamas

We opened these after Thanksgiving with plans to wear them—stains permitting—all season long. Here are the ones we bought, plus a couple of options for bigger babbos. Oliver had 3 best friends all born within 4 months of him (including Ellie, pictured above) and we’re all doing the book advent idea together. We found cute striped PJs with Santas on the feet and the girls have adorable red ones with the reindeer on the side.

Carter’s Unisex Baby My First Christmas Sleep & Play Set (Apparel)


List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: 0 Out of Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Carter’s Baby Girls’ 1-Piece Fleece Christmas PJs (12 Months, Grey Snowgirl) (Apparel)


List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: 0 Out of Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Carter’s Baby Boys’ 1-Piece Fleece Christmas PJs (18 Months, Green Stripe) (Apparel)


List Price: $18.95 USD
New From: $16.30 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

(Yet Another) Stuffed Animal

This year Oliver, my 11-month-old, is getting this “reindeer” to go along with one of his new books. (It will magically turn into a moose after Christmas.)

Mary Meyer Sweet Rascals, Marlon Moose, 9″ (Toy)


List Price: $13.99 USD
New From: $11.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

A Comfy Blanket

We’ve already got a few big plush blankets we can all snuggle under, but if you want a new one, Aden & Anais have some adorable options.

aden + anais Classic Dream Blanket, Super Star Scout (Housewares)


List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: 0 Out of Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

I also really like these fuzzy blankets you can get at Target for around $35, if you don’t want to mail-order.

Okay. The books!

We’re wrapping them up and opening one each day until Christmas. For Oliver we are using all that extra tissue paper we have lying around; it’s easier to tear and lets him practice for his first Christmas paper wrapocalypse. The book advent lets us encouraging reading, get a few bonus snuggles in, and ramp up for the holidays! (Plus, it extends the holiday fun throughout the month in a way that isn’t toy-focused.) You don’t even need to make them all holiday books, either. We are doing almost all normal books so we can continue to read them throughout the year.

And as always, while you’re welcome to buy new ones (and give The NightLight a little support by doing so), there’s really nothing stopping you from buying used books online or at a local bookshop, or even just checking out enough books from the library to put it all together and returning them after the holidays. You can even—gasp!—wrap up books they already have. If they’re young enough, they might not know the difference.

Here are a few of Oliver’s favorites.

We love the “If you give a Mouse” books in our house! I expect the moose version to hold up to scrutiny.

If You Give a Moose a Muffin (Hardcover)


List Price: $17.99 USD
New From: $8.84 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.69 USD In Stock

My husband got Oliver a hard cover copy when he was born but he is at the grabbing phase so grabbed a copy he can manhandle.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give…) (Hardcover)


New From: $8.97 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.84 USD In Stock

This one is a favorite from my childhood! I have been singing the lyrics to Oliver since he was in my belly.

Love You Forever (Paperback)


List Price: $5.95 USD
New From: $2.66 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.10 USD In Stock

This is a new one for us recommended by a bunch of friends with littles. There are a few of these on this list.

On the Night You Were Born (Board book)


List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $4.75 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.10 USD In Stock

 

Guess How Much I Love You (Board book)


List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $4.49 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.10 USD In Stock

Oliver loves this one. It has pages inside that get bigger as the caterpillar eats his way through the book. O loves to turn the pages.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Board book)


New From: $6.49 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.94 USD In Stock

This one is one I read for the 1st time in 1st grade and have passed on to all of my siblings. Oliver loves the cadence of the words.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Board Book) (Board book)


List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $5.07 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.16 USD In Stock

We basically love any Sandra Boynton book. Oliver is getting these sets, broken up one a day. Best part is that this will cover 14 days. He loves her books! If you already have one in a set you can regift it to a friend. (We read at least one of her books a day already.)

Boynton’s Greatest Hits: Volume II (The Going to Bed Book, Horns to Toes, Opposites, But Not the Hippopotamus) (Board book)


List Price: $23.99 USD
New From: $14.10 USD In Stock
Used from: $2.50 USD In Stock

Big Box of Boynton Set 1!: Barnyard Dance! Pajama Time! Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! (Board book)


List Price: $21.00 USD
New From: $13.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $7.24 USD In Stock

Big Box of Boynton Set 2!: Snuggle Puppy! Belly Button Book! Tickle Time! (Board book)


List Price: $21.00 USD
New From: $14.68 USD In Stock
Used from: $11.33 USD In Stock

Oliver has a new found love for Pout-Pout Fish books. So here’s the original and a few new ones we are excited to add.

The Pout-Pout Fish (Board book)


List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $4.25 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.64 USD In Stock

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure) (Board book)


List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $4.46 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.99 USD In Stock

Another from my childhood that I am excited to pass down to my son.

The Rainbow Fish (Board book)


List Price: $9.95 USD
New From: $5.92 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.25 USD In Stock

Here are a couple Christmas options too. I had to have a Christmas “Give a Mouse” book!

Merry Christmas, Mouse! (If You Give…) (Board book)


List Price: $6.99 USD
New From: $4.40 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.02 USD In Stock

We have “I love you Stinky Face” and I had to get this one for the collection.

Merry Christmas, Stinky Face (Board book)


List Price: $6.99 USD
New From: $4.77 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.02 USD In Stock

These bears are mandatory.

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving (Paperback)


List Price: $3.99 USD
New From: $2.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $2.40 USD In Stock

Same.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Classic Seuss) (Hardcover)


List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $8.45 USD In Stock
Used from: $2.84 USD In Stock

See above.

Night Before Christmas board book: The Classic Edition (Board book)


List Price: $8.95 USD
New From: $4.75 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.00 USD In Stock

Another classic and without Uncanny Valley Tom Hanks.

Polar Express 30th anniversary edition (Hardcover)


List Price: $19.99 USD
New From: $12.92 USD In Stock
Used from: $10.96 USD In Stock

 

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