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10 Ways to Count Down to Christmas

Are your kids like mine? They have such a hard time waiting! These activities help them count down the days til Christmas in a fun and meaningful way.

Do you know what Advent is? It officially begins this coming Sunday, November 29.

Advent is the season of waiting for Christmas. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas 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 personally hate to wait.

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

10 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, especially if you have Amazon Prime.
    Some Advent calendars are made from cardboard, where you pop open little flaps to reveal scriptures, like the Charlie Brown Christmas Advent Calendar or paper Christmas ornaments like the Eric Carle Dream Snow Advent Calendar.
    Others are made up of 24 toys or pieces of toys, like the the awesome ones from Playmobil (we have the Unicorn Fairyland Advent Calendar this year), the Barbie Advent Calendar, and the Old Time Christmas Village Sticker Advent Calendar.
    Some Advent calendars contain candy or chocolate, like this 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 or the Crafty Advent Calendar.
  2. Create a Jesse Tree I am like the Jesse Tree Queen, right? My FREE book on the Jesse Tree has been downloaded over 25,000 times! The premise is simple. You do a devotion each day, learning about a character from the lineage of Jesus. By Christmas Eve, you have covered most of the important people in His history. My devotions include children's music, Bible verses, and ornaments to print and hang on the tree as well as examples of the ornaments I created from felt many years ago.
    counting down to christmas
  3. Countdown Chain – Several years ago, 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 snowflakes
    4. Make Christmas cards
    5. Make foam Christmas trees
    6. Make a hand print wreath
    7. Learn & color the 12 days of Christmas
    8. Make & decorate a paper Christmas tree
    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 beaded wreath ornaments
    15. Read Who Is Coming to Our House?
    16. Make popsicle stick ornaments
    17. Write a letter to Mrs. or Mr. Santa
    18. Make a kissing ball
    19. Make peppermint bath scrub to give as a gift
    20. Make snowman blocks
    21. Color Christmas presents (from the Christmas tot book)
    22. Make a birthday card for Jesus
    23. Make cupcake ornaments for the tree
    24. Match candy cane letters (from the Christmas tot book)
    25. Make button candy canes
    26. Read Bear Stays Up for Christmas
    27. Celebrate J is for Jesus
    28. Make a Christmas symbols mini book
    29. Play a snowflake matching game
    30. Make a Jesus Loves Me mini book
    31. Make a birthday cake for Jesus
    32. Paint our finger nails and toe nails
    33. Make homemade ice cream
    34. Make salt dough ornaments
    35. Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes
    36. Write letters to Ana and Sian, the children we sponsor in Peru and Indonesia
    37. Make a Gifts for Jesus poster
    38. Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
    39. Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
    40. Put up a special tree in the girls' room
    41. Make festive colored popcorn
    42. Bake pies (pumpkin with pecan streusel topping, pecan, cherry, peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, turtle pumpkin, chocolate fudge – even better would be gluten-free versions of all these pies!)
    43. Make pine cone bird feeders

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

  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  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
  9. Glue on Santa's beard – This cute idea isn't available as a printable, but you could do it yourself using the links provided in the post. Basically, you print out a clip art Santa, cut off his beard, and glue it back on using cotton balls. Super easy and loads of fun for your kids!
    Such a fun way to count down to Christmas!
  10. Santa's Treasure Map – I think my kids would love to do this all in one day, but you can totally stretch it out to last for the two weeks before Christmas. It's a treasure map. Who doesn't love a good treasure map?!

So that's it! 10 FUN ways to count down the days of December and make the season of Advent a little more fun and interesting for your kids.

What are you going to do?

© 2015 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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