Angelicscalliwag Christmas Traditions # 4: Preparing for Advent


The tradition of preparing for Advent goes back to the beginning of our marriage.  I was a newish Christian and determined that every part of my life should at the very least attempt to reflect my beliefs.  Advent would be our time for preparing to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  Thing was, I was new at this and really didn’t have a clue how to go about it.  So I did what I always do when I am unsure.  I bought a book.  Well, two actually.  Both were about preparing for Christmas with Jesus at its centre.  The two books are at the bottom of the photo below:

One book, The ADVENTure of Christmas, particularly appealed to me. Who knew that candy cane represented the blood and purity of Jesus?  I certainly had no idea.  If I’m honest, I now look at these quaint tales and think what a lovely story they tell.  I’m not certain however that the first person to make a candy cane had the blood of Jesus in his mind at the time of production!  But this does not matter.  Whenever I see a candy cane I think of Jesus and my focus is brought back to the very reason Christmas is so special for us.

This book gave us a starting point, the rest has developed as each year has passed.  The books at the top of the photo were bought to enjoy with my twins when they were little.  We now own a plethora of books pertaining to Christmas traditions, decorations, feasts, things to do, food to cook, food to eat, food to give, food…..

We determined that each year we would buy just one book and one item to add to our Christmas collection.  As always, we tried to purchase things that reflected that which was important to us.  One year we were delighted to find a patchwork nativity scene advent calendar:


Each of the numbered little bags can be filled with chocolate, rolled up paper with activity ideas or, indeed, candy canes!  It is a joy to count down to Christmas!

We also wrap up 25 books:




Not all of these are Christmas books, but they are all snowy and cosy!  However, each year we add one more to our collection, which we purposefully choose for its Christmassy feel rather than simply a wintry one.  The last one, ‘Most marvellous Gift’, is opened Christmas Day, and is one of our favourite to read to the children.


Whilst we have always read Christmassy books to the children, it has only been the last few years that we wrap them and use them as part of the count down to Christmas.  I usually wrap them in brown paper, tied together with ripped material ribbon.  This year I used tissue paper because it was less expensive than brown paper:


The Most marvellous Gift is placed at the bottom of the basket to be opened last of all, the others are piled on top and are opened as each child chooses (they take it in turns):


I like this tradition but would like to develop it further by doing an activity alongside the book after opening and reading it.  We’ll see.  Maybe next year.

Another thing I would love to do would be to have an Advent Wreath with the candles to light each Sunday.  Again, one day, when my youngest is a little older.  That’s the fun of Christmas – the development of ideas, a comforting mix of new and old.  It is a season that grows alongside our family.

For other angelicscalliwag traditions see:

Christmas Charity Fair

Country Living Magazine

Christmas Tree Decoration

Highhill Homeschool  TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me


  1. We have a book advent calendar for Nibsy, I’m just trying to see all the books you have to give me ideas for next year 😉

    1. Thanks Hwee. I just read your post about the Christmas Carol. We read that each year, although I’m not sure I’ve ever read it all the way through. I’m looking forward to reading about your activities.

  2. Another lovely tradition 🙂 I just love Max Lucados books – what a lovely book to read on Christmas Day.

    1. I love everything to do with Christmas and always find the New Year (after the initial excitement) a bit of a let down. I need to start some sort of celebration in February, which is traditionally the hardest month of the year for me.

  3. We have many Christmas books, also. I had never though of wrapping them. That’s a great idea. Thanks for sharing your lovely traditions with us.
    Hope you are having a grand day, Claire.

  4. Unwrapping a book a day sounds like a delightful idea and winter/Christmas books are so plentiful it would be easy to do. – The advent calendar is the best I’ve seen.

  5. Ah, new book ideas, excellent! We only have a few of those, so thank you for mentioning them. Hope you all have a blessed time over Advent and Christmas 🙂

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