Last year I decided I wanted the Christmas season to slow down and really try to enjoy all the special things about that time of year. The months and weeks leading up to Christmas I’d be pinning like crazy but never sit down and plan to do the things I’d pinned.
So last year started a new tradition for our home. I made a construction paper garland (remember those from elementary?) and wrote a different Christmasy activity on each piece. Because I started on December 1, I had 25 pieces of paper…25 rings all connected and hanging from the corner of our dining room window.
See what we did last year here.
Every day the kids would be so excited to take down one piece and do the activity on it. Slowly the garland got shorter and shorter until we arrived on Christmas Day. The kids LOVED this. In fact, as soon as the snow started falling in October they asked if we could put up the countdown.
Here’s how I planned out the activities:
- Look on the calendar and see what day of the week you want to do certain activities on. We made sure the Christmas movie night landed on a Friday, for example. Make sure you are putting things on days that you will be able to do the activity planned.
- Write it all down first, week by week. Have that paper handy (maybe in your planner?) and be watching each day so you can be prepared. When they see they are making a Christmas ornament they will be so excited but if they are sitting at the table while you scramble for supplies all excitement will be lost.
- Make some duplicates. It’s okay to have more than one movie night, or a few days to bake cookies. We made ornaments a couple times, too.
Here’s what worked the best last year:
- Snow (ice) cream was by far the kids’ favorite activity. I realize you don’t all live in the Arctic with snow coming out your ears. So this activity might not work for everyone. But if at any point during your countdown it snows a good amount, improvise and do snow cream that day. This is the recipe we used. We used sweetened condensed milk instead of regular milk for extra yumminess.
- Felt snow men were also a big hit. I just bought some plain felt and cut out a couple snowmen (as one whole piece…not three separate circles). Then I cut out a bunch of different things out of felt to decorate the snowman: circles for buttons and smiles, orange carrot noses, a couple different kinds and colors of hats, mittens, scarves, etc. I just taped the snowmen to the wall and the felt will just stick to eachother. The kids had a blast with this for days. We still have the set and will do it again this year.
- The kids really enjoyed all the games we did. I turned normal games into Christmas games by doing things like drawing snowman faces on the plastic cups for snowman slam (bowling). We crumbled up a bunch of white paper and had an indoor snowball fight. We played pin the carrot on the snowman.
This year I made another list. It is basically the same list as last year, with a few modifications. You can print out the pdf: christmas-countdown2016. For a bit of a description on some of the activities listed, visit last year’s post. What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions? What fun things can we add to this list? Share with us!