A Christmas Countdown Family Activity

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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.

I know, I know. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. I know.

But, I also know that as soon as the turkey leftovers are tucked away, our thoughts are going to turn toward Christmas preparations. And since you might have some free time over the weekend, I want you to have this now and not next week.

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 do. One is spiritual, and the other is just silly fun. (I think the two can co-exist.)

Anywho, I put together these cards with fun things for us to do everyday in December and stuff them in envelopes to make it surprise-like. Then each evening one child gets to open 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?

I thought you might say that. I’ve got you covered. With the help of my lovely sister, Janel, I’ve put together a booklet of Christmas cards to print, cut, and stuff into envelopes. We even added activities that we’ve never done — yet. There is so much choice involved here. But, everything you need to pull this off is in this handy, dandy download.

(Well, except for the paper, ink, computer, and envelopes.)

But, other than that, I got you covered!


Free Christmas Countdown Download

This week’s FREE download is a printable Christmas Countdown Family Activity Planner. It includes printable cards, printable labels, ideas for family activities, blank cards to make your own, and a chart to track it all.

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

How do YOU count down the days until Christmas with your children?

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  1. We do the Jesse tree too but are always up for some silly fun. Thanks a bunch for this.
    Have a lovely day and a Happy Thanksgiving.

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

  3. 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:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jessica!

  4. 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!

  5. Love this!! Just posted the link on my fb wall.

  6. Thanks again for such awesome resources!

  7. Thank you so much for offering this as a free download! I was wondering how I was going to pull off an Advent calendar this year. Thank you for continuing your blogs. I really enjoy reading them and always get great ideas. 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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,

  11. 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!

  12. Love this! Especially the tip and page devoted to writing down what you put for every day so you’re prepared 🙂 I just wanted to point out that in the list of activities (but not on the card itself) it says Eat dinner backwards – eat dinner first. I’m sure you meant dessert 🙂 Just a small edit for next year!

  13. 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)

  14. Love it, thanks!

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