Book Day: My Favorite Accidental Christmas Tradition

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Every year starting in, oh, about February, I start acquiring used books to give to the kids for birthdays & Christmas. This can end up being rather a ridiculous number of books, because, well there are just a lot of good books that I find at used book sales, used book stores, or from recommendations. Suddenly I've got a large box of books that I've been hoarding, but all the birthday & Christmas presents have already been bought and I still have all these books!!!

Probably this has never happened to you... Certainly it's always my plan all along to accumulate all these books, never an inadvertent side effect of being a book hoarder...

Well, the first year it happened, I saw someone discuss giving her children books for Epiphany to represent the wisdom of the Magi.

What a brilliant idea! But we already do our main family gifts on Epiphany...

What about just designating one of the 12 Days of Christmas as "Book Day," though? Aha! Problem solved!

So, on one of those desperate post-December 25th days when Dad is back at work but the sugar hangover is real and it's still Christmas, each child gets a small stack of those lovingly-curated books, as well as a "family stack" of books so that the stacks aren't unbalanced. I pay attention to the library books that get checked out over and over, the favorite authors and illustrators, the books that will complement our homeschool studies well, and some activity books to keep them busy and quiet.

And boy, are they quiet!!!

It's always a cozy, peaceful day curled up under blankets, reading aloud to the littlest ones while the older ones retreat into their own worlds, emerging occasionally to share a particularly funny or exciting moment in their books. The books have a chance to shine, not having to compete with the exciting new gifts that were given on Christmas Day.

It's only November and I'm already seriously looking forward to Book Day! I've got my stacks started, and I'm hosting an online party with my Usborne consultant friend, Sarah, to round out our collections with drawing books, nonfiction treasures, and other activity books. (I'd love for you to come! It's this Thursday at 8pm EST. You don't even need social media! Just click here and use "rosiehill" as the event code! Or shop directly here if you can't make it Thursday.)

What do you think? Is Book Day already a tradition in your family? Does it need to become one? I've been thinking your shelves look a little empty, after all... *wink, wink*

Need book ideas for your readers? You know I've got recommendations!

Chapter books for early readers

Christmas and Advent reads for the 6-and-under crowd

Books for Boys & more Christmas and Advent books

What are your kids reading and loving these days? I'd say I'm done shopping for books but... I'm probably not!


  1. I was totally planning on doing this! I'm trying to make each day of Christmas special, so one day we go to a light display, one day they get a new board game, one day we make a gingerbread house, etc. And giving them books one day is definitely on my list!

    1. It's so wonderfully peaceful after the days that are kind of frenzied!

  2. I definitely have a hoarded pile of used books hidden in the closet and I was trying to decide what to do with them...this is genius! Definitely going for it this year.

  3. I visited your 2015 Christmas book post. You had not read the Family under the Bridge. If you have not read it by now, you should! It's a childhood favorite. You always have quality recommendations, so I jotted down some for my almost 4 yo and my daughter who is almost exactly Edith's age.

    1. We read it the next year! Honestly, I didn't love it, maybe it just didn't live up to the hype? I might pull it out and try again this year, I think the twins would enjoy it :)

    2. I think kids love books about orphans, and I love stories of grumpy people finding love. It's not dramatic or particularly imaginative, but it has a sweet gentleness. ---MariaE

  4. I give my kiddos a book on St. Nicolas day....usually Advent or Saint themed. I'm always on the look out for good books!!
    It is the storing of all our books that begins to make me a crazy momma. Maybe I need a better system then shelves...????

    1. We just got three new bookshelves, so that's helping a lot here ;) But yes, the organizational aspect is so hard, especially when the kids insist on READING all the books immediately after I organize them!!!


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