A Countdown To Christmas For Kids!

Countdown To ChristmasSo, I am a sucker for tradition and memory-making and especially Christmas. There’s no denying it. I think it was sometime in September, when I was nesting hard and hoping Margaret would make an early debut, that I began daydreaming about this year’s holidays with our three children(!). Filled with ALL the Pinterest-mom zest for their perfect childhood, I dreamed up this play on the advent calendar that would be festive, fun and chock-full of the spirit of giving.Christmas Countdown For Kids!

I organized 24 daily activities that can be shuffled around to accommodate your schedule (i.e. tree-getting and visits to Santa on the weekends, coloring and caroling on weekdays). Our daily prompts (see below) are laminated (because of course), slipped into each of these adorable numbered bags and hung on our advent tree. Every morning the kids come down and pluck the day’s bag off the tree. We’ve been having SO much fun decorating our house, writing letters to soldiers and Santa, going to the post office to mail our letters and making some charitable donations in our community.

It’s never to late to start a new tradition and make some holiday memories of your own! Hopefully, these ideas/printout makes it a little easier for you! Tis the season to be jolly, after all!Advent Calendar

Count down to Christmas with these fun and festive activities for children!

  1. Decorate the whole house for Christmas (make sure to blast the Christmas music)!
  2. Bring food donations to a food pantry.
  3. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon!
  4. Write a Christmas card to a deployed service member!
  5. Write a letter to Santa!
  6. Mail your letters to Santa and soldiers!
  7. Color Christmas pictures!
  8. Make paper snowflakes!
  9. Pick out and decorate the Christmas tree!
  10. Pick out new Christmas ornaments for this year’s tree!
  11. Visit Santa!
  12.  Do something kind for someone in your family — shh, it’s a secret! (Pick names now.)
  13. Sing Christmas carols!
  14. Make Christmas gifts or cards for your teachers!
  15. Gather old toys and clothes to donate!
  16. Make birdseed ornaments to hang outside!
  17. Go to Starbucks for Christmas drinks, then head out on a family hike (bring some birdseed ornaments to hang)!
  18. Make peppermint bark!
  19. Build a blanket fort and read Christmas stories inside!
  20. Play a family game!
  21. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies!
  22. Sit by the fire (inside or outside) and roast marshmallows!
  23. Walk around (or drive if it’s too cold) in jammies to look at Christmas pretties!
  24. Open your Christmas Eve Bag!

Countdown To Christmas Printable

Click this image for a printable PDF!

For more Pinterest-worthy Christmas ideas, check out this and this!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

card 1

Deck The Halls!

deck the hallsI’ve had my hands full with a newborn and a two year old these past few weeks (like seriously), but we’ve been fortunate to have tons of family in town lending a hand. Just after Thanksgiving, my sister, brother-in-law, niece and grandmother were here helping out, so we took full advantage and decked the halls!

Andrew and I picked out our first Christmas tree (it only took us five years of marriage). We got it up in record time without a single marital tiff, thanks to Andrew’s solid tree-handling skills! We trimmed our pine with white lights, felt garland (which I scored at Target on Christmas clearance last year) and our collection of ornaments (an ornament from each unit we’ve been in, a handful of “Just Married” ones from our winter wedding, one from our Bahamian honeymoon and a bunch of fun ones for Madeline and Benjamin). We let Madeline and my niece, Amelia, each put a couple trinkets up on the tree, which ended up being ridiculous. It’s hard work putting a little loop over a tree branch. Nearly impossible if you’re two years old or under, really. We’re lucky they didn’t take the whole tree down…

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas lights. While I couldn’t convince Andy to jump on the ladder to hang the icicles this year, I did trick him into agreeing we needed way more lights than last year. A quick trip to BJs and a hundred dollars later, we were rich in LEDs, had a remote for our front and back outlets (this is a brilliant device by the way) and you could see our house from blocks away. Is it our best effort? No. But we’ll go all out next year when we’re not drowning in pools of spit-up and diapers. That’s a promise.

Finally, we baked a whole bunch of Christmas cut-out cookies. There is something so precious about letting go of the rules and regs for the sake of having fun with your children. There were sprinkles everywhere (including about half a bottle in Madeline’s belly by the end of it), there were little bits of cookie dough mushed into the crevices of the kitchen table and under their fingernails and there was a fine blanket of flour atop it all. But there was also so much Christmas magic it ached. When our little girls bit into their homemade Christmas cookies, a twinkle in their eye that said “We’re getting away with something!” I knew it was worth any amount of effort it took to make that moment happen. As we cleaned up the kitchen, I said to my sister, “There were lots of messes and memories made. I’d rather have both than none at all.” I think that will be our family’s mission statement for years to come. Tis the season (of life)!

Check out this short film my awesome brother-in-law put together of our Christmas festivities…