35 Christmas Countdown Activity Ideas

The longer I'm a mom, the more I realize that the things that bring our children the most joy are activities that allow us to spend time together. They love doing fun things as a family and it doesn't have to be extravagant. When it comes down to it, they feel most valued when they know that Mom and Dad enjoy spending time with them. That, to me, is the greatest gift we can give our children.

One of the ways that I try to make it special for our family each December is by doing a countdown to Christmas. I try to choose extra activities that allow us to spend special time together as a family. It may be a game night, popcorn and a movie, singing at the nursing home or eating cookies while driving around looking at Christmas lights together.

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Making a countdown doesn't have to be fancy. In the past, I've done the old-fashioned paper chain countdown, but a couple of years ago, some friends and I made ones like this.

To make our countdown, I picked up cream colored cardstock to make the tags. I also chose various colors in cardstock for the images and numbers we cut out on the Cricut machine. I chose a red glittery cardstock for the numbers and then other Christmas colors to make cutouts for the tags.

Starting December 1, we begin counting down until Christmas Day. Ahead of time, I choose which activities will best fit for each day, although sometimes I have to switch them up a bit depending on schedule changes. I usually change up the activities a little each year just to keep it exciting. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Christmas Countdown Ideas:

Start Christmas Devotional and/or Advent
Family Christmas Party and Parade
Take cookies to a homeless shelter
Take cookies and a thank you note to your local police or fire department
Make Gingerbread Houses 
Sing Christmas carols at a local nursing home
Have a Gingerbread Hunt
Play a game together
Go to a local Christmas store
Backwards dinner night (eat your dessert first!)
Get a quarter for your piggy banks
Eat a fruit snack (We love these ones!)
Make a reindeer craft
Sing Christmas carols at the piano
Drop off hot cocoa mix for an elderly neighbor (I've seen single servings at our grocery store for only $1.25 each and they're already packaged for gift giving)
Hot cocoa with marshmallows
Eat a candy cane
Have an indoor picnic by the Christmas tree
Build something "Christmassy" with Legos
Make an ornament for the tree
Get a new coloring book
Bake cookies and then eat them while we go look at Christmas lights as a family
Read The Pine Tree Parable (I think I get teary-eyed every time I read this book!)
Do a puzzle together
Make a Christmas craft (Look here for inspiration. There are some I can't wait to try!)
Call Dad at work and tell him, “Thanks for working for our family”
Paint a wooden ornament from the craft store
Watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn or a Christmas themed snack
Play with Play dough (Love this candy cane play dough idea!)
Go for a walk in the snow as a family
Bake cookies for neighbors and give them a Christmas card (I love putting our cookies in this simple paper plate holder. Adorable!)
Play with nativity and talk about the story of Jesus
Bake a birthday cake to celebrate Jesus' birthday
Read Luke 2 and open presents!

How do you make the Christmas season special for your family?

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Dana said...

I was hoping to get to it this year, but not going to happen...we need to dress up our clothespins! That will be next year's project! :) Maybe we should plan to get started in April and it just might be done for December! ;)

MiaB said...

We're doing advent activities this year too. I'm so excited about it. It will be our first year :)

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