“ I am a TRADITION JUNKIE!” it’s true and my daughter Savannah figured it out when she was 10 years old.
One November morning she approached me by Saying “Mom we need to plan our day to go shopping for our Christmas dresses. she ended with “MOM, it’s a tradition”. I had to stop and think for a minute “a tradition….HMMM”. I can only recall actually taking her dress shopping only the previous year since in years past I arrived home and presented my girls with the dresses I had picked out for them. What I realized was Savannah had such a fun time picking out her dress and shopping that she wanted to do it again and she figured that if she threw in the word TRADITION, knowing I love traditions , then I would be sure to repeat the event again.
It worked- we began another tradition of Christmas dress shopping each year. I often hear my kids say to me BUT mom it’s a tradition whether it be to stay up late and watch a movie with DAD on Friday NIGHT or to choose what they eat for their birthday meal. They have learned in our family that traditions are important to each of us. They have given them a sense of security and a sense of identity; they feel loved and encouraged by them.
During Christmas one of the main traditions we do through out the month is called the “25 Days of Christmas” advent countdown. We count down the days by doing daily holiday activities. Many of these are things you already do during this time of year but this makes it memorable. Today I wanted to share both our family countdown tradition plus 6 additional advent countdown ideas as we head into the month of December and begin counting down till Christmas. Are you ready to countdown and make family memories?
25 Days Of Countdown Fun – Christmas Activity Advent
How to create your own Christmas countdown plan:
STEP 1: First I begin by going through my list I have saved from year to year of over 40 various activity ideas. ( list is below)
STEP 2: Next,I then choose 25 ideas I want to do that particular year. A few examples are: decorate a tree, make cookies, visit Santa Clause, readthe Christmas story, movie night, serve sparkling Cider for dinner etc.Like I said, many of these are activities you already do with yourfamilies. We are just creating a little more Christmas excitement.
STEP 3: Then I look at my calendar and see which days I can do each of my chosen activities and I write them on my calendar.
STEP 4 :Next, I go to my computer and type up little notes to go with each activity such a “ Artists are you ready? It’s time to make a masterpiece in our bonus room” This is for the day I allow my kids to paint the windows with a Christmas scene. Another example is “Get your hammers and nails out it’s time to build and decorate” did you guess this one? Time for my kids to create a ginger bread house.
*place each note in a separate numbered envelope. Each day your children can open an envelope and read what that days activity is. I do not recommend you seal the envelope until you hand it to your kids because if life goes crazy and you were planning to see Santa but Suzy got sick, you can quickly change it around. Which is also why it is important to keep a list of which days you are doing what.
*Place each note in little numbered boxes or Chinese take out boxes hung on a small tree. You can download 24/7 MOMS 25 day numbers by clicking here.
* Place each note in a numbered Bag. You can download our 25 day count down numbers by clicking here.
*Hang 25 small stockings on a clothes line and place a number on each stocking . Need numbers get our free ones that you can download here.
*Purchase an Advent Calender with pockets to place the notes in.
*Purchase an Advent curio cabinet with little drawers to place each note in.
Keep it simple choose carefully what activities you will do so that you do not become overwhelmed. Make this season a time to make memories with your kids and make it special. This is the time of year we Celebrate the birth of Jesus, not living each day in complete stress and on overload. Make it Simple. Make it Fun!
25 Days of Christmas Ideas:
The Christmas Bucket Advent
Counting down the Christmas only becomes more fun and exciting with this Bucket Advent idea from Workman Family . A bucket filled wit wrapped goodies and activities to do as a family. Some of the ideas Workman Family included in her Christmas Bucket Advent were :
- Christmas movies (most pre-owned, 1 new)
- Christmas books (most pre-owned, 2 new from Grandma)
- Homemade red and green playdough
- Gingerbread cookie decorating kit (new
- Write letters to Santa
- Make cookies and take them to the Missionaries
- Go and look at Christmas lights
- Bake cupcakes with Mommy
- Bake and decorate sugar cookies with Mommy
- Sort through old toys and take to a homeless shelter
A Christmas Advent of Experiences verse Things
While working on our families 25 Days of Christmas countdown advent – I decided that this year I want to make sure that we focus on family time, others and experiences rather then ourselves and getting things. So I began a search for new ideas to add to this years countdown list and here is what I have come up with to choose from: Decorate your Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music Write a letter to the child we sponsor Begin a Holiday Blessing Jar Date with Mom Date with Dad Shop for gifts for children in need – Angel Tree or other organizations Read a book night – Unwrap a new or old book to read Visit a retirement center or hospice center and deliver goodies Host a Hot cocoa and cookie night with friends Family movie night – watch a Christmas movie and either have pizza or treats Bake and Decorate cookies Make fudge Go Ice skating or Roller Skating Deliver donuts to your local Fire Department Go see Santa Clause Teach your kids to make appetizers and have a dinner of appetizers Create Christmas Blessing Mix for friends and classmates. Click here for FREE bag topper. Drive around to see decorated houses and lights Ring and Run Christmas fun with You’ve Been Jingled. click here for how to instructions. Star your neighbors ( ring and run). Click here for FREE download Build a Gingerbread house together Random Act Of Kindness day (RACK)- choose an act of kindness to do for others Volunteer at the local food bank or to collect canned food items around the neighborhood Host a family game night and invite another family Dec 22nd first day of winter..take a day trip to the snow Bring your Child’s teacher their favorite muffin or baked good Help in your child’s Classroom – Kids love when mom or dad spend the day at their school Make a sugar cube castle Build a Shoebox online for Operation Christmas Child Attend a local Christmas play or concert Have a gift making day – help your kids create gifts for others Read the story about the birth of Jesus Do you have an idea for an advent experience to add to this years countdown list?
12 Days Of Christmas Candy With Stories Advent’
The store isles are filled with lots of Christmas treats and candies ready to create a fun 12 days of Christmas candy advent for a neighbor, college student, teacher or others in need of a sweet gift this Christmas season. Simple to make and yummy to eat. Choose 12 various types of candies and find coordinating stories to print off and attach to each type of candy. We found a list of examples over at The Craft Patch and their complete how to instructions.
Click here to go to The Craft Patch.
Day 1: A Christmas Family (red envelope filled with chocolate coins)
Day 2: Rudolph—That Amazing Reindeer (reindeer marshmallows)
Day 3: An Older Brother’s Gift (candy book)
Day 4: The Other Wise Man (candy ring “jewels”)
Day 5: Christmas Day In The Morning (cow tales)
Day 6: In Shepherd’s Field (pooping sheep)
Day 7: The Christmas Orange (chocolate orange)
Day 8: A Christmas Gift For Jesus (chocolate dollars)
Day 9: Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect (Peep Christmas trees)
Day 10: Christmas On The Rhine (gingerbread men)
Day 11: A Brother Like That (race car candies)
Day 12: The Legend of the Candy Cane (candy canes)
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness – Advent Countdown #1
Begin a new tradition this year by counting down the days till Christmas with your children by doing one random act of kindness each day. Teaching your kids to be generous and compassionate and that the Christmas season is not just about the gifts they will get. Wondering what sort of acts of kindness to do with your children – I have two resources to help you
#1 – 50+ Ideas –
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Countdown #2
A countdown that encourages our kids to GIVE, SERVE and HELP OTHERS by doing simple random acts of kindness – an idea Katherine Marie had to do with her kids each Christmas. Click here to read more and see her 25 days countdown list of Random Acts Of Kindness. …
Blessing Box Countdown Advent
Many years ago we started the tradition of the Blessing Box in our home to place focus back on the true meaning of the season. Each night as our countdown advent we would read a scripture verse and talk about a biblical principal with our children then present them each with a token to remind them of the verse. I recently came across a similar idea called the Advent Boxes from I Can Teach My Child – she has created a list of verses and biblical principles that you can download as well as tags for each advent box to begin this tradition in your home counting down the days till Christmas bringing the focus back to the true meaning of the season with your kids. Download the Advent Boxes Printable here. from I Can Teach My Child. Download the Advent Box Labels here. use the Avery return address mailing labels (30 per page) and then cut them in half.