Advent is upon us! I thought I'd share this little book idea right away in case it is helpful to someone out there. I'm sure you've seen the idea on some of the blogs to wrap your Christmas picture books for Advent, and then each day the children have the fun and surprise of opening the book you plan to read aloud that day. Those lovely pictures of crisply wrapped books in all of their purple paper splendor (or rose or red or gold as the case may be) always look so inviting, and I'm sure the sight is even more delightful looking for the children who get to open up all that goodness. Watching the pile grow smaller and smaller as we near the Nativity, wondering what old favorite story they will hear each day, the joy of opening a present each day - it all sounds wonderful!
But it's never happened here. :-)
This year I thought of a simple alternative that gives some of the elements of surprise and a way to pleasantly and gradually bring out the books throughout the season - without the trouble of finding purple paper and doing all that wrapping. I decided to make a fabric gift bag big enough to hold a few books. We keep our Christmas picture book collection on a shelf in a cupboard so they are not in general circulation throughout the year; I plan to move them someplace inaccessible like my closet, and each day 'wrap' the day's selection(s) in the bag for the little girls to open before our daily story time. The books will be doled out gradually, there might be a new book or two now and then, and they have the surprise of finding out what is the book of the day. One bag for all the days, all the years, no paper to buy, no books to wrap, no mess.
So I had some festive looking fabric in my stash that I picked up at the thrift store. I looked at our picture book collection to get an idea of the largest size book. I folded the fabric in half, selvage to selvage, and cut off a piece about twelve inches wide.
Leaving the piece folded like that, I sewed up one long edge like so. Then I found a nice piece of red ribbon to use for a tie. I folded that in half (approximately) and pinned it to the other side of the fabric, about five inches down from the top edge. Note, if your ribbon has a shiny/nicer side, you want to fold the ribbon 'right sides together'.