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Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Countdown: Day 1!

I have such fond memories of last December with Calvin and Henry. Henry was doing pretty well health-wise at that time and Calvin was starting to use sign language and learning new signs as fast as I could teach them. I remember listening to holiday music and playing with the boys in the house that was all decorated for the season. I remember reading lots of Christmas books to them and spending lots of time trying to find just the right Nativity set for Calvin to play with.

With warm fuzzies thinking about Christmas time last year, I'm so excited about this Christmas season. We started decorating the day after Thanksgiving, but we haven't bought our tree yet. This year Calvin and Henry will get their first real Christmas tree! But not 'til this weekend ;)

This year I put together a Christmas Countdown calendar with something special for us to do as a family each day from December 1st until Christmas! There are tons of cute ideas for how to craft up a Christmas Countdown calendar on Pinterest. I decided to do a paper chain where each link is numbered 1-25 and has our special Christmas activity for the day written on it. Although yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, our countdown started today.

I made a list of some ideas of Christmas activities that I wanted to do with the kids. Some were big things like a trip to the zoo to see the reindeer, and some were small things like reading a special Christmas book. Once I had some ideas, I planned out our December calendar and then wrote the events and activities on the strips for the paper chain with the countdown numbers corresponding to the days of December. I decorated each strip of paper with washi tape and put the chain together.

Here's the list:

1. Read the Christmas story.
2. Make a snowflake picture.
3. Read The Gingerbread Baby and bake gingerbread cookies.
4. Watch a Christmas movie.
5. Shop for new Christmas books.
6. Bring home a Christmas tree!
7. Decorate the Christmas tree.
8. Make a Christmas tree picture.
9. Play with snow dough!
10. Donate toys to Toys for Tots.
11. Make a clothing donation.
12. See reindeer at the zoo!
13. Take a photo with Santa!
14. Decorate a "gingerbread" house. (We'll probably use graham crackers.)
15. Make holiday cards for friends.
16. Make a food donation at the library.
17. Bake Christmas cookies.
18. Watch a Christmas movie.
19. Drive around to see neighborhood Christmas lights.
20. Go to a holiday party.
21. See reindeer at the Academy of Sciences.
22. Make beaded candy canes and taste a candy cane!
23. See the holiday lights at the zoo.
24. Leave out cookies for Santa.
25. Merry Christmas!! Read the Christmas story from the Bible.

It's hanging in our living room near the Christmas stockings.

We started our countdown today with #1: Read the Christmas story! We read my favorite picture book of the Christmas story, The Nativity, which tells the story of Jesus' birth through excerpts from the King James Bible with lovely illustrations by Julie Vivas. Although we've already been reading Christmas books since Thanksgiving, I saved this one for today. I just love it. Julie Vivas' illustrations are so heartwarming and I think she really captures the joy of the story without being silly.

I won't post every day of our countdown (yikes, that would be a lot of blogging!), but I'll post a few of them :) Happy December! And Happy Holidays!

What? You don't have a train running through your nativity scene? I'm pretty sure this is historically accurate ;)


  1. What a fun idea! I might steal it. :)

  2. very cool and fun and i look forward to being part of the latter days of this! yay and hooray!