Advent begins in just two weeks! Advent always varies in length from 22-28 days, beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30th) and embracing four Sundays. The first day of Advent can fall as early as November 27th or as late as December 3rd. This year Advent begins on December 2nd.
Years ago, when we didn't have enough Christmas themed picture books to wrap one for each day of Advent, I would check some Christmas books out from the library just before Advent began, using Christmas Mosaic as a guide. We have added many books to our home library since then, giving one Christmas themed book to each of our children on the feast of St. Nicholas, and our collection has definitely grown. (You can find this year's picks here!)
In the past I have filled our basket with Christmas Mosaic titles and our children's 35 Favorite Christmas Picture Books. One year I picked twenty-six of MY favorites (although I still find new favorites to add to my list each year!) to wrap up and one year I left the choosing up to my husband and our oldest daughter.
I really loved the collection we read last year and this year I had a really hard time choosing new books to wrap up and read instead... I tried my best, but there are still a few that make the list nearly every year including The Donkey's Dream, The Miracle of St. Nicholas and Bambinelli Sunday.
I did include a few books (In the Candles Glow for the feast of St. Ambrose, An Alphabet of the Altar for the O Sapientia Antiphon, and The Three Trees for the O Radix Jesse Antiphon) that we don't keep with our Christmas book collection, but they tied in nicely for the theme of that particular day of Advent so I added them to read aloud this year.
I don't have a copy of the brand new Our Lady of Guadalupe Graphic Novel, but if TAN Books has a great sale later this week I plan to order a copy and wrap that up for the upcoming feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe next month. Otherwise I'll wrap up one of our other favorites.
About four or five years ago I switched to brown paper, instead of the purple and pink wrapping paper, along with purple and pink ribbon (which I save to reuse each year) and homemade labels for each day. I haven't been able to find the box with my wrapping supplies yet though following our move... I need to keep looking so I can get these books wrapped and ready! Advent is coming up fast.
If you'd like to use my little labels too, you can download my Advent Book Basket Labels for 2018 over at Dropbox.
As always, we'll unwrap and read one book each night during Advent, following our family rosary. The rest of the books will be placed in additional baskets for the kids to read whenever they'd like during the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
Here are the 23 picture books that I am wrapping up for our 2018 Advent Book Basket:
December 2 - 1st Sunday of Advent: The Way to Bethlehem
December 3: S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet
December 4: Saint Francis Celebrates Christmas
December 5: The Baker's Dozen - write letters to Christ Child/Saint Nicholas, bake Speculaas or St. Nicholas Cookies, and decorate St. Nicholas Chocolate Coins to give to others
December 6 - St. Nicholas: The Miracle of St. Nicholas
December 8 - Immaculate Conception: The Donkey's Dream *Catholic Mosaic - pray Litany of Mary from which the names of Mary used in this book were taken
December 9 - 2nd Sunday of Advent: The Gospel Told by the Animals
December 10: Babushka: A Christmas Tale
December 11: The Little Fir Tree
December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 13 - Santa Lucia Day: Lucia Morning in Sweden
December 14: The Huron Carol
December 15: Too Many Tamales
December 16 - 3rd Sunday of Advent/Gaudete Sunday: Bambinelli Sunday
December 17 - O Sapientia: An Alphabet of the Altar
December 18 - O Adonai: An Ellis Island Christmas
December 19 - O Radix Jesse: The Three Trees
December 20 - O Clavis David: Silent Night
December 21 - O Oriens: Little Star
December 22 - O Rex Gentium: Twas the Evening of Christmas
December 23 - 4th Sunday of Advent - O Emmanuel: The Wonder Story
December 24 - Vigil of Christmas: Why Michael Whispered (This darling book is out of print... I found this at our old parish's book sale last year.)
.: GIVEAWAY :.
Prize #1: The Wonder Story, The Christmas Book, Catholic Songs for Children CD, An Alphabet of the Altar, and the brand new release The Bible StoryPrize #2: The Gospel Told by the Animals, Mary Stories from the Bible, Watch Over Me Little Angel and My First Prayers for the Whole Year
Prize #3: The Catholic All Year Compendium
sponsored by Ignatius Press (value $18.95)
sponsored by author Susan Peek (value $11.95)
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For additional Christmas book suggestions you can find some of our lists in the archives: