My feed

John Lewis Advent Calendar 2023, Day 3: Start a book swap this year

Discover the heartwarming tradition one Mumsnet user enjoys with her family every year. 

By Rebecca Roberts | Last updated Dec 13, 2023

John Lewis Advent Calendar 2023, Day 3: Start a book swap this year

Created by

In the flurry of festive preparations, there’s a simple yet profound tradition that one Mumsnet user enjoys with her family that embraces the spirit of Christmas: a book swap. 

Not only does this tradition encapsulate the essence of sharing, storytelling, and bonding among families, but it’s also an easy and budget-friendly way to give to loved ones. After all, a Christmas book swap is more than just an exchange of stories: it’s a celebration, and a tradition that can continue through generations. 

So, this December, be inspired by Mumsnet user Eileen101 and start your own “Christmas Eve book swap” with your loved ones. For Eileen101, her children swap books with their cousins but you could start this tradition with any family members or even friends. 

Why a Christmas book swap?

Starting a book swap is simple, but impactful. While the tradition itself embodies thoughtful giving, book swaps gift knowledge and imagination. Plus, it nurtures a love for reading and generosity for your DC. 

So, pick a holiday date, like Christmas Eve for example or any other date over the holidays, wrap your chosen book(s) with care and add a personal note.

Christmas book ideas

Nosy Crow Father Christmas and The Three Bears Kid's Book, £13

Our verdict

Nothing quite beats snuggling up with a good Christmas book with your DC on Christmas Eve. So, this year, choose the story of Father Christmas and the Three Bears.

It's Christmas Eve and Father Christmas has fallen asleep at the Three Bears' cottage but NOTHING will wake him. It's up to Baby Bear and the Fairy-Tale Rescue Rangers to deliver the last presents so EVERY child gets a gift. But how will they cross the Roaring Rushing River, navigate the Deepest Darkest Wood and get past the Most Monstrous Mountain... all before the children wake up on Christmas morning?

If you're searching for even more ideas for your book swap or Christmas Eve read, what about these?

Jellycat Puppy Makes Mischief Kids' Board Book, £10

Eric Carle - 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' Kids' Book, £7

Nosy Crow John Lewis Christmas Advert 2023 'Snapper - The Perfect Christmas Tree' Kids' Book, £10

Judith Kerr - 'Mog The Forgetful Cat' Kids' Book, £8

Gardners The Oak Tree Children's Book, £13

Create the perfect reading corner

Having a reading corner in your DC's bedroom is hugely beneficial in helping them find space to dedicate to their favourite books. It can be a great spot to read together before bedtime, or a place for your LO to unwind on their own during the day.

What we read to our kids

Our team at MNHQ have shared the books they love to read to their own children during the festive season...

The Gruffalo: A Read and Play Story Children's Book, £15

DS absolutely loves The Gruffalo. We enjoy reading the story together every night before bedtime. I've tried other stories, but he enjoys this one so much.

Rebecca Roberts, Commercial Content Editor

The Gruffalo: A Read and Play Story Children's Book, £15

by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler

Buy now
'Each Peach Pear Plum' Kids' Book, £8

When mine were little I loved reading them books with lots to spot in the pictures... It meant they could join in with the storytelling.

Poppy O'Neill, Content Editor

'Each Peach Pear Plum' Kids' Book, £8

by Janet & Allan Alhberg

Buy now
Gardners People Need People Kids' Book, £7

We love this! A brilliant way to introduce poetry to kids and beautifully illustrated.

Rachel Erdos, Content Editor

Gardners People Need People Kids' Book, £7

by Benjamin Zephaniah

Buy now

What is the John Lewis Advent calendar 2023?

For the first 12 days of December, we’re serving up Christmas inspiration, gift ideas and thoughtfully curated products that carry the seal of approval from our very own Mumsnet users. Make sure you check back daily!

About John Lewis

Known for much more than just those tear-jerking Christmas adverts, John Lewis is a department store that will accommodate all your needs. From home, garden, electricals, beauty, and fashion it's the perfect place to find a special gift for someone, or for yourself.

About the author

Rebecca Roberts is a writer, editor, and content marketing expert hailing from Leeds. Here at Mumsnet, she brings parents content designed to make life easier. As a mum-of-two, she knows all too well how difficult it can be organising Christmas. So, she's fully invested in finding the best Christmas gift ideas, offers and promotions for families this year. 

Beyond her role as an editor here at Mumsnet, Rebecca can be found balancing life as a working mum of two toddlers and when she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her at a local playgroup, in a nearby coffee shop, or walking the dog.