Preview: Create a meaningful way to celebrate the Christmas countdown with your family.
I’m not going to mention how many days left until Christmas. Even when its 45 days, my Mom starts to panic about being ready when Christmas Day finally arrives. There is never enough time for last minute details, forgotten gifts, and making dozens of Christmas cookies (even though you had the best intentions). There is so much “hustle and bustle” around Christmas that we barely notice the time passing. Then, suddenly it is Christmas Day!
Let’s build in a way to slow down this season. Let’s take an hour or so each day to celebrate with our family. I want to share with you a way to build in time each day to slow down and make the Christmas Countdown a fun, family tradition! (Instead of seeing the countdown on the Santa sign at Walmart)!
I am starting a new tradition with my kids this year: A Box Full of Family Christmas Countdown. I made a box full of small gifts (ones with a specific theme- more on that in a minute) to open one day at a time to countdown until Christmas. I have 7 gifts- one for each day to count the week leading up to Christmas Day. (You could do as many or as few days as you wish).
Here is the catch- each and every gift in the box will represent something we can do together as a family. My intention is to provide a purposeful way to stop and spend holiday time together doing a family activity. The gifts are things such as a Christmas book we can read together, a game we can play, an annual ornament tradition, a fun craft, etc..
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Ideas for family-time gifts:
Hot cocoa– Wrap a box/can of hot chocolate or special Christmas mugs for a hot cocoa night
Craft supplies– Make a holiday ornament/magnet/photo frame for grandma
Pajamas– This is a great time to give them their traditional Christmas pajamas to wear on Christmas night or have a family pajama party
Supplies for a gingerbread house– Spend the evening making a gingerbread house together
Games- Board games, card games, even a family round of Mario Kart– spending time together laughing and playing a game is always a great activity
Books- Holiday themed books are awesome for smaller children. For older kids, take turns reading a chapter book or have the child read aloud to you
Ornament- Maybe every year you get an ornament with the year on it- or one that serves as a reminder of something special that happened that year.
Notebook- Speaking of memories, this is a great time to talk about all the fun things you did this year and all the new memories you will cherish. You could write them down in a notebook and wrap it as a gift every year! Each year you add more memories and look back on special moments from the past.
Some ideas to make the countdown extra special:
- Wrap each gift in a lot of layers. Let each child unwrap a layer until the gift is revealed
- Create a little scavenger hunt so the kids have to find the day’s gift
- Wrap a clue and have the kids guess what the activity will be that day
- Add ideas from your Family Christmas Bucket List
This is a great way to spend a little special family time each day until Christmas. It is a less stressful way to keep track of the Christmas Countdown rather than thinking about how many “shopping days” left. The holiday season seems to come and go so quickly. When I think back, I want to remember the fun things I did with my kids– not all the times I had to drag them to the store so I could get that forgotten teacher gifts or grab bag present.
Share with a family member you would like to start this tradition with!