My kids LOVE to countdown to Christmas, in fact we have 5 ways to do it. Crazy I know. Actually so many ways to countdown kind of drives me crazy, its not that I am scrooge, but so many!!!! The kids get so excited after Thanksgiving to get out all the countdowns, even though we have to wait until Dec 1st to start them. Here are 5 Fabulous Family Friendly Christmas Countdowns my kids LOVE!
My childhood countdown
When I was a child I loved countdowns too! And the countdown my mother made with friends when I was really young helped me hold off and be patient and think about Jesus. The basic idea, and you can tell by the picture, is that you take an ornament out of each days little compartment, and hang it on the tree with the pin. On the 24th you take out Jesus and put him in the manger. My kids try to make sure a new person is taking out Jesus each year. Isn’t that kind. Taking out Jesus is the privilege. Each day a new child takes out the ornament, rotating turns. This particular set I have is not the original, but made my my oldest sister (who claimed the original when she had children) and gave it as a gift.
My husband and I got married just after Christmas. The year we got married we were traveling to my parents for Christmas after we visited his parents house earlier in the week. As we were driving we talked about traditions we wanted to start as a family. I LOVE tradition, my family is made up of traditions that bind us. His family didn’t have any special traditions. So I really wanted to start a simple tradition we could hold onto. We thought of reading a new Christmas story each year to our children, Christmas countdown with books. We started that year with a book I received as a gift from my work (I worked at a bookstore). Our fist book was When Jesus Was Born In Bethlehem, Paintings (which are fabulous) by Joseph Brickey. This story is straight from the Bible Christmas story in Luke, word for word.
The next year I bought two stories, Christmas Play by Joanne De Jong and The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. I could not choose and both were a fabulous deal so I bought both. The crippled lamb in the story has a friend who is a cow named Abigail, which was our first daughters name, and the cow reminds me of what everyone should be like, what I wanted my daughter to be like. Now we have 20 books. Each year on Dec 24 we open a new book and we read it. Some years I have wrapped all the books (that is over achieving in my mind) and other years (when I need to simplify) we have just set the books out and let the girls choose. This is great time together, and the kids all have their favorite books.
Sisters Sleigh Ride Gift
Many years ago my sister gave my family a Sleigh Christmas countdown. The girls love it. Each day you add a snowman or a snowflake to the sled. I love this because of its simplicity and enjoyment. My sister took the time to create this countdown, besides the books, is the countdown we have had the longest.
My Aunt’s Nativity
I love nativity sets. I currently have 6. My favorite is the hand carved olive wood nativity I purchased in Israel when I toured there 18 years ago. My aunt also loves them too, and spent much of her adult life collecting them. She has to down sized considerable and spent this year giving her nativity sets to her niece and nephews families. She gave us a countdown nativity that is so precious and cute, I really love how the Christmas countdown is simple (changing the dice each day) but yet we focus on Jesus and his birth.
The Blessed Elf on the Shelf
Ok when I asked for this Christmas countdown for Christmas 5 or so years ago I thought how fun! The kids will love it, and they do! If only the Elf really would move on her own each year I wouldn’t have to lie so much. And frankly I must not be as creative and fun as so many of those blogger mom who make posts about how to place your elf each night. I have tried to be less scrooge like this year with the elf, so I have had her hanging from the light fixtures, laying around in a toilet paper hammock in the bathroom (gross), or other fun things awesome creative elf bloggers tell me to do. Honestly I could live with out our Elf, but I am a nice mommy, so the Elf lives yet another year.
What are some of your favorite Christmas Countdowns?