Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 19, 2011

December Daily™ 2011 | Day Eighteen

Welcome to December Daily™ 2011 | Day Eighteen.

This is one of those stories that could have gone on any day. It’s one I’ve been wanting to tell this year as it was a new tradition for us.

24 Christmas books got wrapped up and we’ve been opening one each night (and a couple mornings before school while waiting for the bus). It’s been fun to do it this way vs. bringing them all out on December 1 in a basket (I put them away in my Christmas tubs when it’s not December). The kids have taken turns opening them and even though some have been more for Simon’s age or Anna’s age it’s been totally fine. I think I purchased about four or five this year to make the total 24 (and we received a couple as gifts). The rest I’ve been collecting over the years.

I went back and forth one too many times about adding anything to the first photo.

So I just stopped and decided the photo was enough.

This is one of those photos I know I will love down the road. It shows something simple that most people might not think about taking a photo of that’s actually a meaningful part of our holiday season (reading Christmas books). Over the years some of these books might disappear but I’m hoping they are around for some grandchildren someday in the far future. It would be cool to be able to show them what they looked like when their parents read them.

In addition to the shot of the books on the floor (we keep them under the tree) I also took a shot of the ones that are still wrapped.

Thinking I’d like to add a list of the 24 books we used this year once they are all opened.


Click on the images to link to the products.


You’re invited to include a link to your DAY EIGHTEEN page here. Please link directly to your post vs. your general blog link.


  • 1.
    Kathy said…

    I love the pictures of the Christmas books…..might wrap mine next year. I was thinking of doing it this year, just ran out of time. We go visit lights a few times a week so the books are missed on those nights. Beautiful and simple pages…a list of the books would be a great idea.

  • 2.
    dawn said…

    I love the photo Ali and it’s perfect just like that. It’s always fun to look back at these moments and the books. As a mom to teens now it’s kinda sad not to still have these books. We sit and read our own books now by the tree. Thankful for that but it’s still sweeter when they are younger. Can’t wait to do this with grandchildren one day either.

    Can you believe it’s less then a week away, going by fast. Have a great week home with the kids this week. Hope it is filled with laughs and snuggles and precious memories.

  • 3.
    Lynn said…

    I didn’t wrap our books but we have been trying to read one Christmas story a day this year. I am writing the title of the book(s) we read on each day of my DD album.

  • 4.
    Susan said…

    great idea. i went to the library and picked out some books to read to my grandkids (they came into town for the holidays) and my teenage boys still have a few. taking a picture of the books is a great idea as it was a purposeful decision to select christmas books to read. thanks

  • 5.
    Deb A said…

    The red and white in the photo is strikingly festive and graphic – love it! Continued inspiration. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • 6.
    Estelle said…

    Love this tradition, my girls love books and night stories.
    And the title of your post is wrong, i was afraid to have made a mistake, and ouf !!! we are on the eighteen day of december !!!

    Kisses from France

  • 7.
    Monika T said…

    Hi Ali,
    We have been doing the book a day during December too. I started this tradition about the same time I started creating a DD back in 2008 and I read about it on your blog.(There have been some great ideas and traditions from your followers) This year I pasted ledger paper behind one of the main cardstock pages and then used my date stamp to number each day. After each book that we open, I record the title & author. This is the first year I recorded the books, I thought it would be cool to remember the book titles. I love how your DD is coming about. xoxo

  • 8.
    Cathy said…

    You are making me want to buy those stamps. The Hero Arts one. They’re super cute, and you know me. I don’t really stamp. Love this tradition as well. You’re cool.

  • 9.
    Lorette C said…

    This is a terrific idea and a great tradition! Lovely wrapping paper too.

  • 10.
    Michelle M said…

    I love the picture of the books and I love this tradition. I think I am going to have to copy this idea next year because we haven’t been doing very well reading our Christmas books because they are just in a box! Thanks for sharing this idea!

  • 11.
    Marsaille said…

    Love this tradition! May try it next year using library books to supplement. Our children’s librarian refuses to get rid of (or cycle out) Christmas books, so our library has a huge collection. We just have them on a special shelf, and I like the under the tree idea too.

  • 12.
    Gwen said…

    Hoping to ‘scraplift’ your errands page today. Your album is looking great and I love December and getting up to read your post each day. I couldn’t see Day 18. It just showed a couple lines of text but not the actual post. Hoping it fixes today.

  • 13.
    Lisa W. said…

    Again..your work, your thoughts, and sweetness making Christmas SO special for your children is awazing. I truly admire you:)

    • ….
      Ilona said…

      I second that!! So lovely!

  • 14.
    jude said…

    we do this same thing too! this is the first year I actually wrapped the books, and our boys are LOVING it!! :)

  • 15.
    Jessica Barnes said…

    I saw your original post that you were doing this. I thought it was such a lovely idea, we are doing the same. I was wondering how you were going to document it! I love the way you did it. What a great spread for today.

  • 16.
    J Allen said…

    I love this, wrapping the books, we did it this year! The only thing is I wish I had done it in Christmas past!

  • 17.
    Loydene said…

    I LOVE this … and wish that I’d thought of it years ago when DS was still “read to me” stage! We had some of those same Christmas books!

  • 18.
    Elaine Bieman said…

    what a great idea. Now what to do about them picking all the books up after they read them….

  • 19.
    Katie Scott said…

    We have Advent presents in our house but they don’t always come every day – just when the situation calls for it – the kids have been good & need something busy to do & I wrapped them all up in November & used a very similar wrapping paper that I got at the dollar store – I still have a stash of these presents – I need to remember to take a picture. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • 20.
    Melissa said…

    Oh my lord have mercy! The patience to wrap all those books. My hat is off to you! Love, love, love this idea. Seriously. So perfect. So classic.

  • 21.
    Deb J said…

    What a great idea. It gives the month some excitement and gives the kids something to unwrap as they WAIT for Christmas.

  • 22.
    Mrs. b said…

    (Looks like day 18 ended up in the blog post for day 19?)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yep :) – I fixed it.

  • 23.
    Nathalie Hardy said…

    I love that you took a picture of all stages of this new tradition agree a list with all the books will be the perfect final touch.

  • 24.
    Mallory said…

    I think a list is a great idea! I’ve kept mine in a basket this year, but I def want to wrap them up for Taylor next year. Great tradition!!

  • 25.
    Marilyn Nimmo said…

    Fabulous tradition and love the photos. You have the most wonderful traditions. Thanks for sharing.

  • 26.
    Anya said…

    I love it! Hope to adopt this tradition next year.
    You are such an inspiration Ali!

  • 27.
    Linda J said…

    What a wonderful tradition Ali! You are such a fun mom.

  • 28.
    Karen H said…

    Visit Barnes and Noble the day after Christmas –ALL their Christmas Children books are 50%off then, and they usually have a good selection if you go first thing in the morning. I usually buy a new one each year after Christmas and I always put them out in a basket during the holidays, but I will do this next year!TFS!

  • 29.
    Sarah M. said…

    I’m doing this for the first time this year and I’m loving it. I’m doing it a little differently–I’m letting Sophie pick whichever book she wants each night. My sister helped me wrap the books and I took a photo of all of them wrapped and it’s going in the album. Next year I’ll do like one of the previous commenters and keep track of which book we open each night. Love this new tradition!

  • 30.
    Julie C said…

    I wanted to do this too but didn’t get my books out in time…definitely on the list for next year! One of our traditions is for Santa to bring at least one new Christmas book each year. I love that even with all the new toys they will sit down at some point to read the new book.

  • 31.
    Nikki M said…

    Love this tradition. It’s one of our family’s favorites.

  • 32.
    Kim Thomas said…

    I love that you took pics of the books. I always read Christmas books to my kids, and then passed them on to younger cousins. I do wish I had documented that. I think I’ll get a photo on amazon and do a page about it. Thank you for the sweet memory. :)

  • 33.
    Stacy said…


  • 34.
    Yolanda said…

    We are doing a book advent, also: It is definitely a tradition we will be keeping. I truly love it: the look of the wrapped books all lined up and the nightly surprise when they are unwrapped.

    This year we supplemented our collection of holiday books with library books. We always give “something to read” as part of our gifts. So instead of having my daughter open a collection of easy readers on Christmas Day, she has been getting new ones throughout the month.

  • 35.
    Paula G said…

    Very sweet pages! I’d love to see your list at the end of the season! Happy Monday to you Ali!

  • 36.
    Ali Smith said…

    Hi Ali,
    I have enjoyed your December Daily but didn’t do one of my own. I am not sure I would have much to journal about daily seeing as how I have a dog and a cat…my family (mom, siblings, cousins…) live too far away for me to include them in my daily journals.
    I do have a question about your pictures. Do you have a photo printer that you use? I don’t have a printer at home so if I need to print a picture I have to use one of the photo centers at a drug store or department store. that wouldn’t be very convenienct for a daily photo journal. If you do have a photo printer, what is your recommendation for which one to purchase?
    thanks for your inspiratation!
    Ali S.

  • 37.
    Bec said…

    Really like this tradition. I remember my Gram wrapping books for me to open when my mother and I went on vacation. Other little treats for the trip were wrapped, too. One of the my very best memories. I hope to have wrapped Christmas books when I am blessed with grands. Please tell your parents Merry Christmas! I love reading their story, too.

  • 38.
    Amy said…

    i LOVED this idea when you first posted about it. we’ve been trying to read all of our christmas books but they are scattered. i’d love to start this tradition next year -not about something bought but the gift of a memory of a favorite book.

  • 39.
    Our Learning said…

    We are doing this too! It’s been so much fun to revisit our Christmas books with some new ones joining the collection. I’ve also incorporated this new tradition into my Daily December by using the numbered gift tags from the books as my numbers for each day of my scrapbook. I alternated making them green and red and just adhere each day’s number onto my Daily December page. I loved seeing the books you’re reading!

  • 40.
    rhonda said…

    Ali I will be a new grandma next year at the young age of 46 and I can’t wait to start this tradition, as a matter of fact I have already bought some books for the baby for my daughter to open this Christmas!

  • 41.
    amberca said…

    Man I love this idea! You rock!

  • 42.
    Alida Post said…

    Hi Ali, thank you for inspiring me to also wrap a book for each day till Christmas. My kids love the idea and want to unwrap their book for the day 1st thing every morning.

  • 43.
    Brooke said…

    Love the idea of taking a photo of all the books. I have a book on whales from my childhood that I remember the interior but neither Mum or I can recall the name of the book – I think it might be a lifelong hunt to find it again. Sometimes when you are older looking back at those books is fun. It’s amazing how you remember the illustrations in so much detail – little eyes always focus on those!

    The Jolly Postman was a favourite of mine as a child – I liked the pockets and today I still love pockets!

  • 44.
    Stacey K said…

    I am inspired to find my missing Christmas spirit & wrap our few Christmas books to read in these last few days before Christmas. I haven’t kept up with my DD this year but have the photos & memorabilia ready for when I get a moment of inspiration.

  • 45.
    Pedita said…

    I love this idea! My kids have lego calendars for the second year thanks to your ideas, now I see we’ll have another tradition next year. Thank you for sharing!

  • 46.
    Karen anderson said…

    My son is all grown up now so I don’t get to take photos like this. Have you thought about including some more ‘grown up’ pages as inspiration for those of us who don’t have little ones to snap Ali?

  • 47.
    Carolyn HP said…

    As a bookworm, I loved getting new books each Christmas and I’ve tried to keep that tradition going by making sure my niece & nephew get at least one book for Christmas each year. I never thought to do something like this for them but I love it, I love the Christmas paper you used too :) Great new tradition!

  • 48.
    Kristen said…

    I think I am going to start this tradition with my nephew! Love love love it! Thanks for the inspiration (as always)

  • 49.
    Tammy B said…

    I brought out our Christmas books this year and neither of my boys has even looked at them. I guess they aren’t as fun when you are teenagers. It might be time to put them in the keepsake book box to save for future generations!!

  • 50.
    Chris said…

    Hi Ali,
    On a completely unrelated topic, I decided to TRY the Project Life this year. I am getting nervous as that time is getting nearer and I have not been so good at getting the Dec. Daily on track. Printing the photos seems to slow me down. I am just wondering if you have anything that you do to get prepared for that. Thanks.

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