How is it mid-November already?! I feel like my little muffin just started kindergarten last week and already there are Christmas trees and holiday deals being shoved down my throat.

Mild panic attack aside, I’m definitely one of those people who needs a pre-Thanksgiving nudge to at least make me aware of how quickly the holiday season will explode all around us.

On that note, I’m hoping to share my first in a series of Holiday Gift Guides this week. Since it’s not quite ready for you, I thought I’d share a new holiday tradition (which I happened upon on my favorite time warp website, Pinterest) we’re going to start this year: the Christmas Countdown.

I’m in the process of rounding up 24 holiday and winter-themed books that I’m going to wrap up and put under our tree starting on the first of December. Each night, my oldest munchkin will get to pick a book and we’ll get all comfy and curled up and read it just before bed.

Since we’re not a religious bunch, this will be our spin on an advent calendar. Samantha will absolutely adore this (she gets to open a “present” every night!) and I love the idea that it will make reading even more exciting for her (and eventually our little Ellie Bean will get in on the action too!).

Here are some of the books on our must-have list:

1 Nutcracker :: 2 The Night Before Christmas :: 3 Llama Llama Holiday Drama 4 The Polar Express :: 5 The Missing Mitten Mystery
6 How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I’m in serious need of suggestions! What was your favorite winter/holiday story growing up?

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.