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Christmas Traditions for Book Lovers

I recently read about an Icelandic Christmas Tradition which is part of Jólabókaflóð roughly translated as "the book flood of Christmas” when most publishing houses release a “flood” of new books just in time for Christmas. The tradition involves the exchanging of books on Christmas Eve and then settling down for a cosy evening of reading and eating chocolate. As a book lover and self-confessed chocoholic, this sounds like the perfect way to to celebrate Christmas and a lovely tradition to adopt as a family. Over the last few years there seems to have been a dramatic increase in popularity of celebrating Christmas with books and, in particular, children's books. Here are a few of our favourite Christmas Traditions for Book Lovers together with a brilliant selection of Christmas Books.

Book Advent

Why not count down to Christmas with a different festive book each day of Advent? In our house the festive books are delivered daily by our cheeky Elf on the Bookshelf, Elvis, but you could create a Book Advent Calendar by wrapping and numbering each book individually. This may seem like an expensive idea but it really doesn't have to be, as you can pick up some lovely books from as little as £1 each, if you look in the right places! Why not take a look at some of our budget book ideas?

A Christmas Eve Story

On Christmas Eve we always read my childhood copy of The Night Before Christmas together. This is usually delivered by Elvis our Elf, together with new PJs, hot chocolate and snacks for a cosy evening at home. If you are putting together your own Christmas Eve Box then a festive read is a must! You could include a Christmas picture book like the ones above or something longer such as this selection of Christmas Stories by Enid Blyton.

Want, Need, Wear, Read

This year we are trying to cut down on our gift giving and instead plan to spend more time and energy doing things as a family. We will be playing more games, watching more films, having more adventures and of course reading more books together! I came across an idea online of limiting gifts to something the children WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR and something to READ. Although we may not strictly stick to the rule, I have been guided by it when making my festive purchases this year and hopefully it will result in more meaningful presents and less plastic clutter!

Give the Gift of Books

As well as giving books to your friends and family, why not donate a book to a stranger? This Christmas we have opted as a family to donate to BookTrust instead of sending cards. A £10 donation could send one festive book parcel to a child who is vulnerable or in care. You can find out more about the amazing work BookTrust do and how to donate here.

We would love to hear about your favourite festive traditions and how you celebrate Christmas with books, so please do leave a comment below. And, if you are looking for festive books to pop under the Christmas Tree this year, then do take a look at our Christmas Book Ideas.

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with The Book People, which means we were compensated for our time, however, as always, all opinions are our own. This post also contains Amazon Affiliate links, you can find out more about this here.


  1. Like it Kate! xxx

  2. We haven't done a book advent this year but I agree a fab tradition. I always do the want, need, wear, read sort of thing too #readwithme

  3. We always read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve too! In the past we've done book advent calendars but also wrapped books from the library to keep costs down.


  4. We haven't tried a book advent calendar, but a couple of years back I reviewed a book called "24 days to Christmas", so it is nice to read that a day at a time. And we also have the tradition of reading "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve followed by "Father Christmas needs a wee" #readwithme

  5. nothing better than reading a christmas book on Christmas Eve! #KCACOLS

    Sarah | Mummykind

  6. What a fab choice. The Night Before Christmas is a must have at christmas time.

  7. I love the idea of a Advent! So cool! We are a family that loves books! Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

  8. Love the book advent calendar idea, my boys have just discovered short graphic novels and are enjoying reading those at the moment, we also love a good fantasy adventure story like Dermot O Leary's first book. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

  9. Nice ideas, and I’d like to have a read of the Enid Blyton book myself, as I enjoyed a lot of her books as a youngster. Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope you come back again next time x