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Frugal Advent Calendar: 12 Days of Christmas Books


Yesterday, my daughter asked me how many days until Christmas for the first time this year. (It’s 46, in case you’re counting!)

And, so it begins.

We have attempted all manner of advent calendars in our home—good deeds, paper chains, chocolate candy—but the one that has been the biggest hit never cost me a penny! We count down the last 12 days of Christmas with our favorite holiday books.

Each year, I gather leftover gift paper from the previous season and wrap 12 Christmas books. Each night, one of my girls gets a turn unwrapping the evenings “gift” and unveiling our bedtime story. She gets to see how many books are left, as we countdown to Christmas.

I don’t buy new books—I simply gather the ones we already have. There’s still some time before our wrapped book countdown starts this year, but it’s time to start tracking them down. A few will be tucked away on the bookshelf. Some will be in the girls’ rooms. And the rest, I’ll pull out of storage in a couple weeks.

Over the years, we’ve amassed quite a collection. We may just have to start our holiday countdown a bit earlier this year. It’s the perfect way to be sure our favorite holiday books get read. It’s also a great way to provide some color under the tree, until the real presents arrive. Plus, the frugal gal in me loves to use up all that leftover wrapping paper.

We choose a special paper for our final book—Twas the Night Before Christmas is, of course, always our Christmas Eve story. It’s become a tradition the girls rely on. And, one they’re already talking about for the upcoming holiday season. What’s your favorite Christmas book?

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