Christmas Books

And now I share with you one of my fondest Christmas Traditions.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have an advent calender – we had Christmas books. Twenty-four pages told the story of Christmas from Creation to the Cross. Each day we would draw our interpretation of the story, carefully guarding our pages to keep siblings from copying our ideas.

The books are a record of my artistic abilities from the age of 3 1/2 to my last book, sometime in my teens.

When complete, Mom would bind our books with ribbon or yarn, and in later years she took them to the print shop to have them proffesionally bound. We each chose our favorite Christmas card to illustrate the cover.

On Christmas Eve the books would be passed around, and the box of last year’s books would be opened, and the whole family would enjoy paging through and remember past Christmases, and when so and so always gave everything they drew, including the donkey, a prominent belly button. There was no way to forget the true meaning of Christmas with this special tradition.

This year my eldest is finally old enough to make his first Christmas book. I have waited for 20 years for this day – I can hardly wait to pass on this fun activity to my children, starting tomorrow! Each day we will read the sentence for the day, talk about what it means, and brainstorm ideas of what we could draw to illustrate this. If you want to join us, here is the file for you to download and print.

Download here and save to your computer:
Christmas Books

The document is 12 pages with two lines of the story of Christmas on each page. Simply print the pages and then cut them in half crosswise to make (24) 5 1/2in x 4 1/4in pages. Give one to your child (children!) each day, starting December 1st. Have fun!

9 responses to “Christmas Books”

  1. jennifer Avatar

    Will you be illustrating a Christmas book this year?

    1. Trina Avatar

      I wish, but I haven’t found the time for years. Maybe next year?

  2. Jyl Avatar

    Hi Trina!!
    I can’t find the link to the coloring pages?? Am I missing them somewhere? I love this idea. Will be great for little guys.

  3. Kateri Avatar

    That is such a cool way to celebrate the days leading up to Christmas. We always did a Jesse Tree, which is much the same idea, but I like this better.

  4. Jessica Avatar

    What a great idea!

  5. Tammy Avatar

    I love, love, love it! I just printed them out and hope to start this tradition this year! I love having holiday/family tradition to tie heart strings with their home. Thanks for sharing Trina, hope you have a joyous Christmas season!!!

  6. Trina Avatar

    Laura, a comment like that makes my day – no, wait, let's admit – my month! I'm so glad I could share the idea with you!

  7. Laura Avatar

    This is the most excellent idea!! I have been looking for a Christmas tradition to start in my family, one with real meaning and purpose, and this is it! I'm so excited! Thank you and bless you.

  8. Belle Avatar

    What a beautiful tradition! It is wonderful you are passing it down to your family.

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