Chasing Cheerios

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Christmas Book A Day

A couple of years ago, we started the tradition of having O open one Christmas book a day.  Last year, I think I wrapped the books in tissue paper, and I wrapped them in newspaper the year before that.  Neither of those ideas was ideal as I really can't stand to wrap gifts in paper even if I can recycle it...I'm just not good at it, and they always look terrible. 

Every year, after Christmas, I buy lots of Christmas fabric on sale with the intention of making bags for the books.  This year it actually happened!

I cut the fabric into long rectangles.  My mom folded it, pinned it, and sewed each side.  She then cut the ends with pinking shears...done!  Hooray!  She finished all 25 bags and seemed to enjoy it!  THanks, Mom, you are the best! 

So, we've put aside the advent calender that I made last year (E has been slowly destroying it, and I am terrified that she is going to swallow a magnet), and we are now using the bags.  Each bag has one book and either a craft activity or a notecard with an activity written on it.  I've tried to tie the activity in with the book, but that hasn't always been possible. 

Wrapping the books in the fabric bags is so easy...I put a book in the bag and tie the end with a ribbon or fold the fabric over and tie a ribbon over it to hold it in place, so that it actually looks like wrapping paper. 

As the girls' open their book of the day, I take the bag downstairs so that I can use it to wrap gifts to put under the tree.  I'm hoping that we won't have a single piece of wrapping paper under our tree this year!  (although I'm just using these bags for the girls and Elliott, since we'll use them for our books next year, too).

O has really enjoyed searching through the packages to find the right number each day.  My plan is to choose the books for next year and go ahead and wrap them in the bags with an activity when I pack them away in January.  It will be great be organized next year!


  1. I also bought tons of fabric last year after Christmas and used it to wrap gifts this year. I started out sewing simple drawstring bags, but pretty quickly switched to just cutting the fabric and wrapping it like a gift, then using the ribbon and a bow to hold everything in place. I am so in love with how it looks! You can see a couple at my handmade Christmas post.

  2. What a great idea!! I've been wanting to wrap the books we read also, but just couldn't see taking that much time, and wasting that much paper. Thanks for this!!! I'm sure everyone would LOVE to see which books and activities you do!

  3. I agree with megan - would love to see your book picks and activities! I just featured a post on a Christmas book advent calendar and she had the good idea of getting many of the books from the library so it's not too spendy. She also had a good starter list of books. I'm so impressed that you do coordinating activities - you're such a good momma :).

  4. I too would love to see which books! I cannot imagine 25 Christmas books per year - surely they begin to bogart the other books??

  5. great idea. I just wrap mine in newspaper that the girls have painted.The first year I used christmas wrapping paper but it felt soooo wasteful that I just couldnt do it again!.

    WE just randomly grab one out of our basket. I keep thinking I need to get organised and number then and finally amass 25 books. My kids have some favourites that they go back to repeatedly so I probably dont need 25 but it would be so much fun.

    Yours looks so festive and like theres a bunch of presents already under the tree.

    to those who asked about amassing that many books I buy 2 or so a year and have quickly amassed enough within a couple of years. Grandparents and friends also give books to us as they know we do this. Its been cheap. I also go to the library but alas with everyone thinking the same thing a bunch of christmas books have been hard to comeby for me (Im in Australia though)I only got 2 or 3 from the library.

  6. I have been wanting to make fabric gift bags reusable from year to year for a number of years now... I just haven't yet = ( I hope to get a few done this year. But... if you really did want to use Christmas paper, I suppose one way to cut down on the waste might be to wrap them with very little tape so they are easy to get into, creating less "shredding" action. Then, if the books are big enough, you might end up with some pretty big scraps. Keep them to use for smaller gifts, or scrapbooking, or DIY Christmas cards.

  7. LOVE THIS IDEA!!! I am so doing this!!! I am going to shop this year for fabric on sale so I can do this next year! Thanks for the great idea!

  8. fantastic idea and thanks for the link to your old advent calendar. The magnet tins look so cute! I started making cloth bags for christmas presents several years ago and I think my mom, mother in law and I are all now fully stocked! I'll just warn you that smaller bags are harder to use (like the size used for a jewelry box), so go bigger when you can AND don't forget to make a few huge bags for those hard to wrap presents. Good luck!

  9. I almost forgot to link to the Advent Tree I made this year... silly newby blogger...

  10. Thanks for all of the comments! We have much more than 25 Christmas books! I've always collected children's books, so I had quite a few before I even had kids. Since having the girls, I've found great books at 2nd hand shops (Once Upon a Child) and thrift stores. I never pay full retail price for a book. Occasionally, I'll buy Christmas books after Christmas for 50% off, but even that feels expensive after buying great quality books from the thrift store for 49 cents!