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8 Ways to Count Down to Christmas

I've mentioned a time or two that Advent started this past Sunday, but do you know what Advent is?

Advent is the season of waiting for Christmas. It begins on the fourth Sunday before November and ends on Christmas Eve, but some people celebrate it just from December 1 to 24.

No matter when you observe it, Advent is a time of happiness, celebration, and hopeful anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Whether you are young or old, waiting is hard. I hate to wait.

Counting down helps the time to pass. It gives us something to look forward to every day. It is just plain fun.

8 Ways to Count Down to Christmas

  1. Buy an Advent calendar – You can, of course, buy an Advent calendar.
    There are dozens of Advent calendars on the market. Most start on December 1, so it's not too late to get one and get started.
    Some Advent calendars are made from cardboard, where you pop open little flaps to reveal scriptures, like the Precious Moments Advent Calendar or pictures like the Charlie Brown Christmas Advent Calendar.
    Others are made up of 24 toys or pieces of toys, like the Playmobil Dinosaur Expedition Advent Calendar, the My Little Pony Ponyville Advent Calendar, and the Old Time Christmas Village Sticker Advent Calendar.
    Some Advent calendars contain candy or chocolate, like the Santa Chocolate Christmas Advent Calendar.
    Still others have spaces that you can fill with your own items (candy or small toys or even the daily clue cards from Truth in the Tinsel), like the Kurt Adler Advent Calendar, the Works of Ahhh Christmas Tree Advent Calendar (which you can paint yourself), or the  Crafty Advent Calendar.
  2. Countdown Chain– Last year, we wrote activities on strips of paper and stapled them together to make a paper chain. The activities we used were:
    1. Bake cookies
    2. Wrap presents
    3. Make paper snowflakescounting down to christmas
    4. Make Christmas cards
    5. Make a hand print wreath
    6. Learn & color the 12 days of Christmas
    7. Make & decorate a paper Christmas tree
    8. Make a Christmas shape book
    9. Make reindeer food
    10. Make a garland from dyed pasta
    11. Make reindeer from Nutter Butter cookies {we did these two years ago, and they were awesome}
    12. Make a Christmas tree from an ice cream cone
    13. Make a gingerbread house (from graham crackers)
    14. Make popsicle stick ornaments
    15. Write a letter to Mrs. Santa (Grace is seriously terrified of Mr. Clause)
    16. Make peppermint bath scrub to give as a gift
    17. Make snowman blocks
    18. Color Christmas presents (from the Christmas tot book)
    19. Make a birthday card for Jesus
    20. Match candy cane letters (from the Christmas tot book)
    21. Make button candy canes
    22. Make hand print magnets
    23. Celebrate J is for Jesus
    24. Make a Christmas symbols mini book
    25. Play Candy Cane Colors game
    26. Play a snowflake matching game
    27. Make a Jesus Loves Me mini book
    28. Make a birthday cake for Jesus
    29. Paint our finger nails and toe nails
    30. Make homemade ice cream
    31. Make salt dough ornaments
    32. Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes
    33. Write a letter to Evelyn, the child we sponsor in Ghana
    34. Make a Gifts for Jesus poster
    35. Put up a special tree in Grace's room
    36. Make a light up cake
    37. Sew paper stars
    38. Make festive colored popcorn
    39. Bake pies
    40. Make pine cone bird feeders

    Your chain doesn't have to have 40 links. 23 or 24 would be much more appropriate at this point.
    My friend, Maureen, has a printable countdown chain that includes themes like memories and charity and family.

  3. Make a paper pocket Advent calendar – Eryn from Mamahall shared a tutorial for making paper pockets that contain Christmas-themed activities. Her tutorial includes downloads for activities and scriptures to put inside.
    Advent Pockets
  4. Print an Advent calendar – I found a very simple “print and do” Advent calendar online. The idea is similar to Eryn's above, but it's a single page and the activities and scriptures are provided.
    printable advent calendar
  5. Make a craft a day – I love this idea. Bella Dia's author has a Christmas book and related craft posted for each day of the Advent.  Truth in the Tinsel from Impress Your Kids is very similar. We started the Truth in the Tinsel crafts yesterday.
    tissue paper ornament
  6. Print a Sticky Note Advent Calendar – I don't entirely understand this one, but it looks really cool. I think it would be best for older kids.
    sticky note advent calendar
  7. December Daily – The idea of December Daily is to create a scrapbook page each and every day of the month. It's a very, very time-intensive process, but it's really fun. I made it to December 24 last year. I should start this year.
    december scrapbook
  8. Unwrap a book a day – Wrap 24 Christmas books, put them in a fun basket, and let your kids choose one to read at bedtime each night of the Advent. Doesn't that sound like fun?
    advent books

5 Days of Christmas Traditions

To celebrate the first week of Advent, I talked Christmas traditions every day this week.Christmas Traditions

Monday – Our Christmas Traditions

Tuesday – Jesse Tree & Truth in the Tinsel

Wednesday – Advent Wreath

Thursday – Coloring the Advent

Friday – Christmas countdown chain and other countdown ideas (that's today!)

Other blogs celebrating 5 Days of Christmas this week

All of these bloggers are participating in the 5 Days of Christmas this week. Go see what they're doing:

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready

Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies

Spell Outloud – Children's Books

Mama's Learning Corner – Children's Crafts

Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts

Sunflower Schoolhouse – Decorations

An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies

Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday

The Traveling Praters – Traveling

The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make

Mama's Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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