I’ve really tried to do those darling Christmas advent calendars with the fun family bonding activities for every day of December. We’ve done the shaving cream snow with the best of them but for our family it just doesn't work to have a set activity for each day. I’m just not that organized, because, well, there’s life. Without fail we’re 5 days behind and it's December so there's no free night in sight, the kids are excited and want to do them all and I’m not feeling merry OR bright.
This is a tradition I've decided I can handle. It's flexible, it's not time consuming, and it still gives some meaningful holiday cheer.
Santa wraps all the Christmas books before the month starts and hides them away. The only drawback here is that it DOES take Santa a chunk of time to wrap all the books but that happens before wrapping gets in full swing so he's probably not as annoyed about it as he would be if it was like the 15th. I'm guessing it only takes him about an hour, so that's not horrible. In our family, our Elf on the Shelf Beaglehider brings them with him when he shows up on the 1st, but you could pull them out whenever you want/have them all wrapped.
Very Important: Santa is brilliant and DOES NOT NUMBER THE BOOKS. You'll see why in a minute.
With all the wrapped books in a basket, every night-ish a kid gets to pick one out. They unwrap it and you read it together. Since there's no numbers on them so if (when) you miss a night you don't have to spend 2 hours catching up.
Then on Christmas Eve our Elf takes the books back with him to the North Pole. And if a stack of them are still wrapped then that's less Santa has to do next year.
Where to Get Books
If you don't have a collection of Christmas books to fill in the 25 days then
only have Santa wrap the ones you have and do it less days.
check out books from the library to fill in the holes.
order a pile of super cheap ones from Scholastic Book Club.
ask for them from grandparents for Christmas and have them for the next year.
I love having the Christmas books not mixed in with the regular ones year round- totally keeps them fresh and special.
Just Do It!
Once the books are wrapped, this is an easy, low stress tradition that will give you a Norman Rockwell moment, all curled up on Mom and Dad's bed. Until one kid pushes another one off the bed and the second one clobbers the first and then they both get sent to their room, of course.
But hey, you had a moment.