Get Ready to Cozy up Around the Campfire with Books (+ Advent Idea)

    Today we welcome my friend Erica, hailing from Kodiak, Alaska. Like our family, theirs spends as much time as possible outside. However, there’s nothing following winter adventure quite like cozying up with some hot chocolate (or hot toddy for the adults) and a good book. And we truly believe there is a balance in life – books and literacy are an important part of that.

    Given the opportunity, I invited Erica to share an idea for Advent (which starts in just a couple weeks) that I love. Our family has always focussed just on Christmasy books – I love that this one includes classic books that you can keep on reading all year long.

    Please feel free to leave comments and questions at the end of the post – I’d love to hear how you incorporate books in a special way during the winter months too!


    The upcoming holidays are filled with tradition, whether they are a cultural or family practice. In our household we uphold many traditions but have adopted subtle changes to fit what works and interests our family. Since my kids were little – they’re now 11 and 8 – we’ve used an Advent calendar to count down the days in anticipation of Christmas.

    A couple of years ago, I saw the idea of an Advent Book Calendar and being bibliophiles – lovers of books – we instantly adapted our Advent tradition. Like other Advent calendars, the Advent Book Calendar is set up so that you have 24 books wrapped so that starting on December 1st you have one book to unwrap and read together each night. This tradition is so perfect for kids of all ages!

    What I particularly love about using an Advent Book Calendar is that it encourages literacy and, by reading each book together, we’re enforcing the value of quiet, focused family time. Also, this is an activity that builds our home library rather than just giving a gift that has a short-term use.

    Get Ready to Cozy up Around the Campfire with Books (+ Advent Idea)

    The Advent Book Calendar really is a gift that keeps on giving. When reading to your child, you’re instilling the importance of quiet time, and reinforcing the fact that reading is worthwhile. Even at just a few months of age, infants look at pictures and listen to your voice. At this early age, babies are learning the importance of language. Reading aloud to children also stimulates their imagination and increases their understanding of the world. And, for your older children who are mastering their reading skills, it is still important for you to read aloud together. You’re providing them with an important emotional benefit as you’re focusing on them and spending quality time with them, and you’re furthering their interest in reading and expanding their vocabulary and concepts.

    Does this task seem daunting to you – especially since Advent starts in les than a month – and expensive? If so, I’ve preselected 24 titles from the publisher Usborne Books and More that I am sure you will enjoy sharing with your children during the holidays. Between now and Saturday, November 21st 2015, you can purchase these preselected titles (listed below) for $99 – that’s $4.13 per title – through The Scholar Ship Books! My holiday gift to you: free shipping and taxes!

    Get Ready to Cozy up Around the Campfire with Books (+ Advent Idea)

    The selected books focus on classic children’s stories and build early reading skills. The titles that will be included in your Advent Book Calendar selections are:

    • Pinocchio
    • Beauty & the Beast
    • Wind in the Willows
    • Three Little Pigs
    • Secret Garden
    • Goldilocks & the Three Bears
    • Gingerbread Man
    • Alice in Wonderland
    • Nutcracker
    • Black Beauty
    • Little Red Riding Hood
    • Railway Children
    • Wizard of Oz
    • Twelve Dancing Princesses
    • Snow Queen
    • Little Mermaid
    • Heidi
    • Town Mouse & the Country Mouse
    • Frog Prince
    • The Emperor’s New Clothes
    • Crow in the Snow
    • Fox on the Box
    • Goat in a Boat.
    • The final selection, intended to be intended to be opened on Christmas Eve, is a gift pack of winter activity books: 1001 Things to Spot at Christmas, Christmas Doodling and Coloring, Winter Wonderland Sticker Book and Sticker Dolly Dressing Winter.

    Get Ready to Cozy up Around the Campfire with Books (+ Advent Idea)Get Ready to Cozy up Around the Campfire with Books (+ Advent Idea)Get Ready to Cozy up Around the Campfire with Books (+ Advent Idea)

    To place an order with free shipping and tax, please contact The Scholar Ship at (907) 230-1169 or via email at


    Happy holidays and happy reading!

    Erica McCall Valentine

    The Scholar Ship Books



    A book is a gift you can open again and again.

    -Garrison Keillor

    © 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


      1. We have done book advent for many years and it is so much fun for the entire family. I usually get a couple new books and find the rest at garage sales and thrift stores throughout the summer making it a very affordable tradition!

        • Jesi, I love that you’ve also adapted the Advent Calendar to include books! Looking for books throughout the year at garage sales, books swaps, and thrift stores is a great way to accumulate the 24 books needed for the countdown to Christmas.

      2. Not sure why I never thought of this… what a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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