Last year at our church we made the cutest Christmas books to use with our family called "A Story A Day Until Christmas". I wanted to share this idea with all of you as I think these books are adorable and my children love theirs. Its very simple and inexpensive to make and they make great gifts to give to others. Although, if you would like the recipient to get use out of the book this year you would have to give them as an early or pre-Christmas gift.
What You Will Need:
1 3 Ring Binder that has a see-through plastic cover so you can add a "cover" to your book
A hole puncher (preferably a 3 ring one to make it easier on you)
A picture to use as the "cover"
Printer, printer ink and printer paper
At least 24 stories that capture the essence of Christmas to you
This can easily be done using your computer. It would take me forever to sit here and type out all of the stories that are in mine but I will type a few of the titles to inspire you. All you have to do is a google search for "Christmas Stories" and you will find plenty to choose from to print out and use.
"Why the Chimes Rang" by Raymond MacDonald Alden
"The Offering" by Ray Goldruan
The Christmas Story from the Book of Luke in the Bible (Chapter 2)
True Christmas Toy, a poem by Jenett Morell
"Davey and the First Christmas" by Beth Vardon
so on and so on
You could even type up real life stories of Christmas's from your childhood or the first Christmas for each of your children. You can type up your children's favorite Christmas books, or even use your own imagination to fill the pages with fictional stories you have written. Its your book and it can be whatever you want it to be.
The book I made at church is perfect for our family as we try to center Christmas around Christ. We do the whole Santa thing for the kids but we also want to make sure they recognize the true meaning of the holiday. This is what works for our family and therefore the book is filled with stories tailored to that. That is the beauty of making these yourself. If you are not particularly religious in your family but enjoy celebrating Christmas then you can find more stories tailored to that.
If you do not celebrate Christmas at all but a different holiday then you can create a book centered around that instead. For example, if you celebrate Hanukkah in your home then you can make a book for the 8 days of Hanukkah and read 1 story each night for 8 days.
Once you have all of the stories you want, choose a cover. Mine was pre-chosen for me but I love it. It again captures the essence of what we want to teach our children about Christmas. Your cover may be a picture of Baby Jesus, Santa, Rodolph, a Snowman or even a Holiday portrait of your own family.
Once you have found all the stories you want, a minimum of 24 for the Christmas book, (you can use more if you want, our book has 2-3 stories to choose from for each day) you are ready to put it together.
Slip the photo you have chosen into the cover of the book.
If you choose, print out not only the stories but pages to divide each day. Our book has a sheet that says what day it is (day 1-24), a scripture for that day and a suggested carol to sing as a family. Again, I did not design this but we like it and it works for us so we kept it. You book may only have pages that say the day. They may have pictures on them, or silly Christmas songs to sing. I always read the scripture to the kids but we may not always sing the carol (I honestly do not know them all haha) but may sing "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" or "Frosty the Snowman" instead.
Arrange papers so that there is at least 1 story behind each day.
Punch holes in papers and insert into the 3 ring binder.
Your book is now ready for use.
Last year our oldest was 3, it was the first year any of our kids had been old enough to truly understand and be excited for Christmas. That's fun but with it comes the "is today Christmas?" "what about today?" "how many more days until Christmas?". I found this book was a very helpful tool in helping us count down the days. Each night when we read we could say "see, now there are X amount of days until Christmas". Did this stop him from asking a dozen times a day still, NO, but it helped and gave me a point of reference when he did ask. I could just say "well, what number story did we read last night?" and if he didn't remember I could show him.
These books would be great for grandparents to make and give to grandkids too. They will create a lifetime of memories for your children. As mine was all premade I plan to do my own searching for stores to add and swap out as the years go on. Many of them are long for the attention spans I have so I will look for some shorter stories and some pictures to add inside to help keep everyones interest. I plan to add photos of our family, baby Jesus, Jesus throughout his ministry and of course pictures of Santa, Christmas trees, snowmen, etc.
Other things you may want to add to your book:
1 picture of your kid(s)/family taken each yr on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day
1 photo of your Christmas tree taken each year.
Fun recipes for holiday treats like sugar cookies, gingerbread men, etc (don't forget the picture of you and your children making these treats together)
Lyrics/Music Sheets to the songs you love to sing this time of year
Scripture references to go along with the stories
A Step by Step guide to your families Christmas traditions-for example the steps you do on Christmas Eve, when you put up your decorations, where you celebrate the holiday, etc. A timetable of events.
The possibilities are endless and can be tailored made to fit your family.
|I think the cover photo on our book is so beauiful I display it as part|
of the Christmas decor when it is not in use.
As with the big Family Recipe Book I am making, eventually I plan on making a separate copy of these book for each of my children and will give it to them when they are grown and have started a family of their own. Then they can add to their book with their own children.
If you make your own book take a picture of the cover and upload it on the wall of our FB page, we want to see it!