Children and adults alike enjoy counting down the days till Christmas. The holiday season is one brimming with hope and excitement. Counting down the days is a Christmas custom in many households. Incorporate this holiday tradition into your celebration this year.
One of the most well-known ways to track the days until Christmas is to use an Advent calendar. This is a religious calendar that families use to mark off the days in December until Jesus's birth. An Advent calendar usually involves opening a door or lifting paper to reveal a small present, holiday poem, candy or trinket. Some families light candles in celebration of Advent, one for each day or one marking off each week.
While historical Advent calendars were typically religious, today many offer secular, or non-religious, ways to countdown the days till Christmas. Secular Advent calendars are sometimes called countdown calendars.
LoveToKnow Crafts offers up several ideas for making an Advent calendar. Both children and adults can find a fun Advent calendar project, from making Santa's beard to making a block calendar.
Countdown the Days Till Christmas
Calendars, while popular, are not the only way to countdown the days till Christmas.
Christmas Paper Chain
One of the most frequently used countdowns is the paper Christmas chain. This is a chain that consists of 24 small loops linked through one another, usually in red or green construction paper. At the end of each day, usually before bed, children will rip off one of the loops. Sometimes families write holiday wishes, sayings of thankfulness or even Bible verses on them that are read before throwing the link away.
Christmas Tree Countdown
Turn decorating the Christmas tree into a fun countdown game for everyone. Choose a different way or item to decorate the tree with each day. Start on the first day with the lights and end with the Christmas tree topper. On other days, decorate using round ball ornaments in a certain color, homemade decorations or themed decorations. At the end of the countdown, the tree is fully decorated.
Kid's Christmas Countdowns
Kids love to countdown the days until the Christmas holiday. Some children's countdown activities include:
- Bake 24 cut-out cookies and decorate them. Number each one from 1 to 24 and let kids eat the designated cookie on the correct day. Store them in airtight containers to keep them fresh until the 24th of December.
- Give kids a special Christmas sticker to place on a calendar to mark off the days. This is similar to an Advent calendar, except the kids add something to the calendar instead of taking something away.
- Read a section of a favorite Christmas story, such as the Nativity story in the Bible or Twas the Night Before Christmas, every night before bed. Plan to read it in 24 sections, leaving the final section for Christmas Eve.
Get your children involved in the countdown by asking them what they want to do to mark the days until Christmas. Consider doing something different each night that represents ideas from every person in the family.
Set Holiday Scenes
A fun way to decorate the home for the holidays is to set up some favorite holiday scenes. Christmas village displays or Christmas Nativity sets are two common home decorations. Stretch out the decorating process by setting up the hay and barn for the Nativity and the faux snow for the village and then add one or two pieces of the scene each day. Complete the scene the night before Christmas.
Make Special Holiday Memories
Counting down the days till Christmas is a holiday custom for many families. Don't wait for the holiday to arrive before having fun - turn the waiting days into a fun activity for everyone with a countdown tradition.