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Christmas Countdown Activities for Families

It can be so intimidating looking at a large list of activities. Of course it’s meant to be helpful but in the end it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. 

That’s not a good way to start off the holiday season! So, we are going to go through each day of the Christmas Countdown Calendar so you can have the confidence and resources to create family traditions your children will treasure for the rest of their lives. 

Don’t have the Christmas Countdown Calendar? Grab yours by clicking the photo below!

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Christmas Countdown Day 1:

The first day of Christmas is a great time to introduce any repetitive daily activities such as elf on the shelf or 25 days of Christmas books.

Introducing Elf on the Shelf

Yes, the thought of started elf on the shelf can give you an instant headache, but these days a lot of the work can be done by someone else. You just have to execute it. 

First things first, you’re going to need an elf. I was absolutely delighted to learn that the elves can be either male or female and you can get one to match your child’s skin color. How cool is that?

You can explore the different options below. 

When it comes to the elf activities, don’t worry about it. Instead use a pre-made elf on the shelf kit. 

1. Stage your elf for the entire Christmas season, easily!

2. The busy parent survival kit for holiday elf on the shelf 

3. Ideas to make elf on the self a breeze 

It’s never to early to get started with these. You can make it as simple or as complex as you desire. I can’t wait to get started with my 2 year-old!


Teddy Bear Reading Christmas Books

25 Days of Christmas Books

The idea here is to countdown to Christmas by gifting and reading a book together each night. Children of any age will enjoy this as they will get to open a present every day. Yes, this does mean that you’ll have to wrap 24 books, but it’s worth it.

As you can imagine, the cost of buying 25 books will add up pretty quickly. One way to get around this is by wrapping books you already own but that your child hasn’t seen yet. They will be excited either way.

Another workaround is to go to the dollar store. Most of them have a large selection of children’s book. Now they probably won’t be all Christmas related but who says they have to be?

If you are interested in Christmas specific books, check out this list.

1. Christmas books for toddlers

2.Christmas books for preschoolers

3. Christmas books for families


The Christmas Stocking

Once you know which activities you plan on doing for the 25 days of Christmas, write them down on individual pieces of paper or  index cards. Take all of the pieces and place them inside a Christmas Stocking. 

Each day allow your child to pick an activity out of the stocking. They’ll be overjoyed. 

If you are sticking to a set schedule for your Christmas countdown activities, then put that specific activity in the stocking each day. The excitement level will still be the same. 

For toddler aged children, use photos instead. These photo based activity cards are perfect for toddlers at Christmas time. 

Christmas Countdown Day 2

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love the Christmas classics and can’t wait to share them with my daughter. The problem is they only air 1 or 2 times the entire Christmas season. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss it.

For 2019 Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer will playing on CBS on December 2nd. It’s a great movie for the family to enjoy together. Record it on your DVR if 8pm is past your child’s bedtime. 

If your child is too young to tolerate sitting still for an entire movie, try watching just a little bit of it. Another option is to watch a Christmas episode of their favorite show. Most shows have one. 

child decorating the christmas tree

Christmas Countdown Day 3

It’s tree trimming time! 

Are you team live tree or team artificial tree? No judgement here! They both look beautiful once decorated. 

It can be challenging for the little ones to participate in tree decorating if Mommy is a stickler for the perfect looking tree. But, did you know they make toddler trees? Yes! You can get your toddler or preschooler a felt Christmas tree complete with their own ornaments. Trust me, they will love it. 

Don’t worry, they can still help you put your ornaments on your tree too. And when they are done with that they can go back to redecorating their own tree. 

Christmas Countdown Day 4

If you want your family Christmas photos back in time for Christmas cards, today is the day. 

In the past I’ve used JCPenney’s as well as personal photographers but they can both get pricey. If you’re feeling adventurous, get a tripod for you smart phone and take your photos yourself. 

This can be a lot of fun. Now you can be silly and have a good time without spending a dime. 

Christmas Countdown Day 5

Nothing excites kids more (other than electrics) than doing crafts. They love creating with their hands especially when they can do it with their family. 

Today is just the first crafting day of many. Your mission is to decorate an angel. This angel can be used for the top of your Christmas tree. It could even become your yearly angel. 

If you need a kit, get one here

Another idea is to simply draw an angel on butcher paper and use water based finger paint to decorate it. You can get butcher paper and tarps at your local dollar store. 


Christmas Countdown Day 6

Do you remember when you used to write your letters to Santa? Now you get to be Santa! 

Personally, I think it’s more fun on this side of things. 

Today is the day your kids get to write their letter to Santa and you get to find out what it is they want. If your child is too young to know about Santa Clause, now is a perfect time to introduce them. 

Need tips? Check out this article on how to introduce toddlers to the big man. I still plan on asking my daughter what she wants kind of like those little quizzes you see on Facebook. Then I’ll save it as a keepsake to show her when she’s older. It’ll be fun to see what she comes up with.

If this is still too advanced for your child, take this time to write them a Christmas letter instead. Tell them about themselves and you for that matter. Let them know what your hopes and dreams are for them and the family traditions you’re enjoying together. 

I’m a sucker for sentimental stuff. 


Christmas Countdown Day 7

Did someone say gingerbread?

Gingerbread was never a part of my Christmases growing up but I think it will be something fun to add. The most popular ways to incorporate it is by baking cookies or creating a gingerbread house.

Baking cookies is easier and you still get to be creative with your decorating. If you need a recipe, here’s one.

Making a gingerbread house from scratch is a huge undertaking, but if you’re up for the task it could be a lot of fun. On the other hand you could save yourself time and energy without sacrificing the fun by using a pre-made gingerbread house kit.

children visiting santa

Christmas Countdown Day 8

The letters to Santa have been written so now it’s time to pay him a visit. 

You’re most likely to find him at your local mall but save yourself some time and see if they take reservations. This will help you out tremendously and help you avoid meltdowns. 

One of our family traditions includes going to the same mall to see Santa. I think it’s cool watching my daughter grow from year to year and having the same Santa in all of her photos. Hopefully he sticks around for a long time!

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