A Christmas Countdown Family Activity

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Are you looking for an easy Christmas Countdown activity for your family? I’ve gotcha covered with these fun printable activity cards!

A Christmas Countdown Family Activity | Life as Mom

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December 1st?! How did we get here?

As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are devoured, our thoughts naturally turn toward Christmas preparations. Sometimes, however, that December 1st jumps us from around a corner and takes us by surprise. Ya feeling it right about now?

With Thanksgiving on the early side this year, it sure seemed like we had plenty of time before December rolled around, but here it is.

One of my favorite childhood memories of the holiday season was the Christmas Countdown. Back then, my mom gave us a piece of candy every day to countdown the days. My sister, fearless of sugar in her home, still does the same.

Call me the stingy mom, but I’ve put my kids on a sugar fast for the next week or so. We need to detox! But that doesn’t mean we won’t have a fun Christmas Countdown. Oh, no, ma’am. In fact, FishChick9 has practically been counting down the days until we can bust out the envelopes.

Christmas Countdown envelopes on platter with holly and Christmas lights.

A Christmas Countdown Family Activity

For years I’ve put together this fun Christmas Countdown to do with my kids. It’s in addition to the Jesse Advent Tree we usually do. One is spiritual, and the other is just silly fun. I think the two can co-exist.

Anywho, years ago I put together these cards with fun things for us to do everyday in December and stuffed them in envelopes to make it surprise-like. Then each evening one child opens the envelope for that day, and we do that fun thing. It might be to go light looking or go a jammie run or watch a movie. Whatever.

The important part is that it’s an occasion for us to chill together and have some fun at Christmas time.

Great idea, right? And you’d really like to do, right? But, where are you going to find the time to put cards together, right? And why am I telling you this on December 1st when you needed AT LEAST A WEEK to get your act together.

I thought you might say that. I’ve got you covered. These Christmas Countdown cards to print, cut, and stuff into envelopes are included in A Simpler Season: The Planner to Help YOU Have a More Fulfilling Holiday.

A Christmas Countdown Family Activity | Life as Mom

Seriously. The heavy lifting is all done. Download the book, scroll to page 129. Choose the cards you want to print and print. There are 34 printable cards, which means you can ditch the ones that you don’t really feel like doing.

That said, the activities are pretty simple and fun.

There are 6 blanks cards to choose your own adventure. Just type into the blue spaces before printing. If you want to get fancy, there are also envelope labels to print, but you can just fold the cards in half and mark them with the day.

I’ve even included a schedule so that you can remember what activity you assigned to which days.

Everything you need to pull this off is in this handy, dandy planner. Well, except for the paper, ink, computer, and envelopes. But, other than that, I got you covered!

And you know what, if you’re reading this on December 7, or 14, or 21, you can still do it! Just choose the activities that mean the most to you and your family. It’s never too late to spend fun times with your children!

A Christmas Countdown Family Activity | Life as Mom

Want to plan a fabulous holiday? A Simpler Season holds almost everything you need to do just that.

This guide to planning the winter holidays provides creative ideas , time-saving tips, and budget-minded inspiration for making the most of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. With the busy family in mind, I’ve provided recipes, to-do lists, children’s activity sheets, planning pages, gift ideas, and step-by-step tutorials for creating homemade gifts. Grab your copy today.

And if you like it, share this post with a friend. We need to help each other celebrate a simpler season.

NOTE: If you live in the EU, know that you can buy it on Kindle since I do not sell to Europe readers due to VAT laws. The printables are not included in the kindle version, but if you’ll forward me your receipt to [email protected], I’ll send you a complimentary printable pack.

What’s your favorite Christmas Countdown?

A Christmas Countdown Family Activity | Life as Mom

Originally published November 22, 2011. Updated November 30, 2017

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  1. Is this not free anymore? I don’t remember paying for it, but I remember going back to the website each year to share it. I shared it this year, but now it’s $15?

  2. We’ve done this in our home for several years. I scour the event calendars for my town, and we’ve added The Festival of Trees, Riverglo (luminaries, singing, and a live Nativity along the local river), a local art walk, a Christmas show at the planetarium, and a Charity Soup Bowl (buy the handmade bowl, the soup is free) to our must-dos. Driving around to look at Christmas lights, reading the Christmas story from the Bible, coloring Christmas pictures together, and a board game night are other ideas. We also serve others by being a secret elf for 12 nights, playing a musical instrument for nursing homes or charity, and this year, bringing muffins and hot chocolate to a nearby ambulance barn. I’m always looking for new ideas, and love some of yours! Thanks so much for sharing :o)

  3. Each year we’ve been making a red and green paper chain, with each ring labeled 1-24. Every morning we pull down a ring and read that day’s activity. Thanks for a few more ideas to add to the mix!

  4. I started this last year in our own way – from making homemade eggnog to going to a play. We told the kids we would do something fun to celebrate Christ every day from 12/1-25 and cut back on the presents (I think they got 2 +simple stocking stuff). Wouldn’t you know that they loved it as much as the parents did. They asked to do Christmas like that every year. It made the season much brighter and we were excited every day. Mom and Dad had to keep secrets and would only tell what tomorrow’s activity was at dinner. Everyone made it to dinner without a fuss.
    Enjoy memories and have some fun together – they will remember that more than the presents any time.
    Merry Christmas everyone,

  5. Thank you for sharing. Life can become so busy and hectic during the holidays and it is these sorts of gifts that make the holidays so much easier.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this, I wanted to add something like this to our advent calendar and this is just in time. Along with the other posters, I really enjoy both of your blogs. You do a great job.

  7. This is great! I wanted to do something like this for my daughter this year, but I just haven’t had the time to put it all together. Thank you!

  8. That’s a really neat idea! My mom has always done some kind of Advent calendar. When I was really little, it was a homemade felt wall hanging with 24 pockets for candy. She would take me to our local grocery store and allow me to pick out 24 pieces of candy from their big bins of individual Brochs – heavenly!

    When I was about 5, my mom discovered paper Advent calendars – the kind that you can hang with 24 boxes in them. She purchased five of them from Current and started filling and mailing them to my four older siblings who were away in college/med school/overseas. She filled them with everything from candy and rubber bands to stamps and money – it was great!

    After we got married, she discovered these beautiful wooden Advent boxes from L.L.Bean and she purchased five of them. For the last 12 Christmas’s, those have been our Christmas gifts. She fills them with candy and money, and they usually come with a box of gifts marked with numbers for each day. Sometimes there’s a note in one of the Advent drawers announcing a delivery of her homemade cinnamon rolls – those are the best days! 🙂

    About 6 years ago, she purchased a log cabin Advent box for she and my dad. When I saw it, I asked her who was going to fill it – she said she would fill it for them. Needless to say, it has become our tradition to take THEIR Advent box and my husband and I fill it for them as our gift. After almost 30 years of enjoying our Advent boxes from Mom, it’s nice to be able to give back – and they love it! 🙂

    For my Christmas post this week? Simplifying holiday decor and keeping a few traditions: http://www.carriesbusynothings.com/2011/11/stockings-were-hung-decking-halls.html

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jessica!

  9. We have the Adorenaments but there are only 12, so we don’t start until the middle of December. This looks fun! Thanks!