Kids book advent calendars – yay or nay?

November 23, 2018


It’s that time of year when all the major Christmas advent calendars are being wafted under our noses. Gone are the days where you had to ‘enjoy’ a little cheap square of chocolate (that no one really wanted to eat) and a sweetly illustrated Christmas scene or character. These days it’s all about being big, fun and lux. And that’s not just the grown-ups calendars either.


From toys to nail polishes, there’s now something for everyone. And if I’m totally honest, though I have yet to treat Little Button or myself to anything like this, there’s part of me that wouldn’t mind a little bit of treasure every day leading up to Christmas. But. Where does it stop? And how big and expensive can it get?



Kids book advent calendars




Kids book advent calendars – yay or nay?

Ok. Here goes. Because I’m about to rock the big Christmas sleigh.





I think there’s a bit of a difference between opening a (medium sized?) window of an advent calendar to unwrapping an actual present *coughs.. book.. every day in December. Yup, that’s right. I’m not partial to the good old kids book advent calendar idea.






Are you yelling at me right now?


Well. I do get why us parents think a book is a heck of a lot better than indulging the littles with chocolate, a piece of plastic, insert name of other useless piece of tat. I totally get it. Its educational, it may encourage more bedtime reading and they mostly last the test of time.




It means we’ve totally moved away from a ‘little treat’ every day in the lead up to Christmas.



24 books is a lot!

Wrap up 24 books into a parcel and see what you have. It’s a big present. A proper present every day for December. But it’s not just that. It’s also the expensive.


With the exception of Costco card holders where I know you can get 10 (decent) books for £10, for most, we would be paying more than that. I would usually pay at least £3 per book, but for argument’s sake, let’s say you found a deal where books were £2 each. That’s £48.00. Almost £50.





But then, it’s not even just the present each day and the expensive.


It’s also about teaching children to treasure their things. If a little one receives a new shiny book each day for 24 days, does that not encourage a different type of value in the books they are receiving? They are not going to treasure a few beautiful Christmas books, but rather plough head first through 24. If they even make it through each one that is.


So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m all for a ‘little treat’ each day in the run up to Christmas. Be it a chocolate, a piece of lego, an outfit for an LOL doll or a mini bottle of prosecco (for me…obviously! – though that would be pushing it) – basically anything that can pop out of an advent window.




But what I’m not that keen on is dishing out what looks like a big present (kids go by size rather than cost right?) every day. And for that present to then be discarded as quickly as it was received.




What does she blinking know! …you may be thinking. Well, we did the Christmas book advent calendar last year and I can categorically tell you that at least 50% of those books have been read only a handful of times. At least 70% of the books were Christmas themed and were neatly tucked away on the bookshelf by the end of January. And, after a month of receiving a gift to unwrap every day, I don’t think present opening on the big day was as exciting if I’m completely honest. And let’s just not go there with the task of wrapping those books up in the first place.


Just saying…




What’s your take on kids book advent calendars?

Maybe you swear by them, or haven’t dared to try doing one yet.

Let me know what you think!  


23 responses to “Kids book advent calendars – yay or nay?”

  1. We haven’t ever done a book advent calendar but we do have a little picket calendar where each day there is a small present wrapped up (these pockets are quite small, it’s actually tough to find gifts to fit it!). Having 2 kids they alternate who gets the gift each day which we’ve found has been great to teach them about sharing with their siblings and taking turns. I like the concept of a book advent calendar but I predict that by day 10 the novelty would have worn off for my kids. A bit like the year I put socks in the calendar. First couple of pockets were fine but after that they got bored. I probably spend about £30 filling out calendar so really not far off a book calendar.

  2. It’s an interesting one because initially I like the idea of a book calendar, but like you say 24 books is a lot! My daughters don’t have chocolate, so this year they have a Happy Land one that we bought in the sale last year 🙂

  3. Talya says:

    I just don’t have the headspace to do this – it’s a sweet idea but I feel like there is already so much going on!!

  4. Jenni says:

    I thought about doing one but even going round Charity shops it was too expensive to do for us

  5. It’s an interesting idea, but we haven’t really got into advent calendars in our house. And have to agree, that is a LOT of extra books. We’re already struggling with bookshelf space 🙂 would have to be a ‘nay’ from me I think

  6. I was thinking about an advent calender but it will.cost so much therfore just get some books they want. Plus it is a day out X #dreamteam

  7. Pati Robins says:

    hmm its a fab idea buut again i dont think with books my daughter is reading that she would read them all plus the lack of space at home would prove difficult to store all the books

  8. Laurie says:

    I have never heard of a kid’s book advent calendar. We just used to have an advent calendar where you saw a Christmas-themed picture every time you opened a window. It was just a way to help kids count down to Christmas! 🙂

  9. Sophie says:

    I’m soooo with you Annette! Children don’t need so much stuff to expect a present everyday. It’s bonkers. Advent is about waiting for Christmas and building the anticipation. I’m against the Lego ones too but like the Choccy ones! #dreamteam

  10. Kate says:

    I like to encourage reading and real books rather than just things online. Having said that I think Advent Calendars should be about Advent and as sad as folks will think about the true meaning of Christmas and not the commercial feast it has turned into. There is so much pressure on parents to spend more than they have which means debt in January with all the stress that brings on them and the whole family unit. Just watching Philip Schofield’s telly programme on spending at Christmas and smiling as tomorrow they will probably have Martin Lewis on telling us to get it all in perspective and not spend if we can’t afford stuff. Madness. As for encouraging reading, my late Dad joined a book club so that I got one of the classics of English Literature every month in lovely hardback – one of his many amazing gifts commercial and otherwise #DreamTeam

  11. Isabel says:

    I think it wouldn’t be good to upstage the main event that is Christmas, the advent calendar should be about little surprises not an automatism to receive a gift – fully agree with you here 🙂 #dreamteam

  12. Stephanie says:

    I like the idea, and it must make it really exciting each night but its just not doable for us with the price of it all.

  13. Jenni says:

    It’s a YAY from me! We’ve been doing book advent calendars for five years now. I use a mixture of library books, books we already own and just a couple of new books each year (and I buy those second hand where I can), so it works out at only a couple of pounds.

  14. Mrs Lighty says:

    Interestingly, I had all these thoughts while wrapping our books yesterday… BUT…I put last year’s books in the loft and have therefore recycled them. So it’s not been too bad. The Works also do 10 books for a tenner Xxx

  15. Rosie Doal says:

    I agree with you. Opening a big gift each day, and then a Christmas eve box dilutes the fun of opening presents on Christmas morning. Chocolate calendars all the way for my boy but my daughter is a teen as of Friday and so I’m getting her a bath bombs one. At least I know they will be used x #DreamTeam

  16. Tracey Carr says:

    I have never done a book advent calendar before and to be honest I don’t think I would either. It does sound a bit busy. But one of the main reasons for this is that I get a very simple advent calendar for my house – you know the ones where you open a door each day and you get a picture of something Christmas or manger related? We always had these ones when I was a child so I am very sentimental about them. They are pretty hard to get these days though, you have to look hard but I normally find one eventually! #dreamteam

  17. I totally agree! I used to have a picture advent calendar and loved opening it. My kids get a chocolate each out of a pocket calendar we have had since our first child. Anymore and it would be crazy with 4 of them. 24 books is a LOT!#livingarrows

  18. Kirsty says:

    I would never do this – EVER!! That would be 96 books in this house 😉 I would need a new book shelf each december and I totally agree that is a proper gift each day. My kids have bought themselves lego and playmobil calendars this year out of their christmas money (sent in advance from their great nanny) and I am not even sure how I feel about that… #DreamTeam

  19. Anosa says:

    Though my nephew does enjoy to read, he much rather plays with his toys from cars movies. I do think that its a lot of books for kids but then again there are kids who would digest them pretty quick.

  20. As much of a bookworm as I am I have to agree. If you’re going to give a gift of 20 odd books ten give them as a Christmas gift?? Bring back the cheap nasty chocolate I say!! #dreamteam

  21. Crummy Mummy says:

    We have one simple picture advent calendar between the three of them – I don’t understand the need for such extravagance! #DreamTeam

  22. Heather Keet says:

    I totally agree Annette. I know so many people doing the book idea this year but I also find it to be a large gift that is costly, as you pointed out it will cost at least $48. I am a book lover and I’m all for books as a gift, but this seems like a huge outlay for an entire month and by Christmas Day it’s just so much. #DreamTeam

  23. I would love a new book each and every day, or even the time to read an old book one day! I hear you loud and clear Annette and agree. I’m broke just thinking about this! BTW< LOve the Lucy Giphy! xoxo #DreamTeam xoxo

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