Huge List of Christmas Countdown Ideas

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Anticipation is mounting for Christmas day. Many families like to countdown the days until Christmas in a special way. Advent calendars are hugely popular and there are many other ways to count down…

Christmas Countdown Ideas

  1. Treats in a store bought or homemade advent calendar
  2. Small items in a store bought or homemade advent calendar
  3. Notes of appreciation or love notes
  4. Quotes and verses in an advent calendar
  5. Holiday surprises (Sparkle stories has a wonderful Holiday Magic series) this involves receiving a daily hidden note with an activity to do.
  6. Audio story countdown (Sparkle Stories has several that we enjoy)
  7. Wrap 25 books to read one each day
  8. Hang a special ornament on your tree each day
  9. Jesse Tree – Reading parts of the Bible from Genesis to Jesus
  10. Paper chain
  11. Move the nativity figures closer to the manger scene
  12. Advent Spiral
  13. Do a different activity each day as an alternative to treats in your advent calendar. This could involve family activities, crafts, outings, movies and more.
  14. Acts of kindness (donate, serve, volunteer, give, help, surprise)
  15. Read a portion of the nativity story
  16. Learn a new fact around a Holiday theme (check out our unit study ideas)
  17. Watch a Christmas movie each day
  18. Add pieces to a photo or scene each day
  19. Reverse advent by collecting one item to donate each day

What my family is doing

Our family has a nativity set up and a pathway leading to the manger. Each day Mary and Joseph move closer. One each of the Sundays of Advent we add more to the scene. Week 1 rocks and minerals, week 2 plants, week 3 animals, week 4 people. We love seeing the display build up over the month. All the pieces have been lovingly made over the years by the boys and myself or purchased from very special markets.

We really do slow down on homeschooling in December but I like to make sure our focus in on Jesus. I have so many great theme ideas, so I asked the boys to vote on what they’d like to learn about.  This year we are learning about the different symbols you might see around the holidays. We will learn about one symbol a day along with some activity that relates (sort of, hopefully).

Below is a list of what I’m doing with my boys. It isn’t in too much detail but there are links to some pages and my Pinterest board. If you’d like to hear more send me a message or follow us on social media.

Symbols of Christmas

Advent 1 – Rocks and minerals – Read part of nativity story 

Last day of November surprise note about our December theme and adventure 

 1. Candy cane – Luke 2:8 also story of Candy Cane, Jesus is our Shepard – candy cane experiments, hook candy canes game 

 2. Wreath – John 19:2 – Crown on Jesus’ head, God’s love never ends -make a wreath 

 3. Angels – angels appeared in several places in Nativity story – make angles out of nature

 4. Candles – Luke 1:79 – Jesus is the light of the world – make candles, go out to see lights 

 5. Bells – ring out to announce the coming of the Lord – play with all our musical instruments

 6. Advent 2 – Add nature, keep reading nativity story

 7. St. Nicholas – Fun symbol, read Santa story book, leave surprises in shoes, leave surprise treats for friends too 

 8. Holly – Matthew 26:28 Blood of Jesus, sharp like the crown, gather nature to decorate house  

 9. Fir tree – John 3:16 Represents eternal life and points to God – set up the tree 

 10. Star – Matthew 2:2 Star above Bethlehem – make origami or paper stars 

 11. Colours – red is blood of Christ, green is everlasting, gold symbol of royalty – art work, get out all our supplies, sensory bin

 12. Caroling – Luke 2:13-14 – listen to music- watch video about story behind a song, dance party 

 13. Advent 3 – add animals, read about shepherds in nativity story

 14. Christmas Crackers – read about them, how are they made, buy or make some. 

 15. Ornaments – make some ornaments, 

 16. Cookies and food – make cookies, try some Christmas food from a bakery 

 17. Cards – read about cards, make cards for friends 

18. Poinsettia – tell story of poinsettia, visit garden centre 

 19. Gifts – Matthew 2:11 – gift of the magi – wrap presents and go shopping 

 20. Advent 4 – Add people, read about Jesus

 21. Spiral, Winter – make our own spiral, read about spiral, maybe invite friends 

 22. Mistletoe  – read, find some silly Christmas games – new game  

23. Nativity scene – watch a movie, read a different perspectives 

 24. Stockings – tell a story about stockings, set out ours, Christmas eve gift to open

What does your Advent calendar or holiday count-down look like?

For more ideas check out my Pinterest board and follow me on Pinterest