I always do various versions of Christmas Countdowns with my son. I plan everything out in advance and pick simple activities each day just because I know I’ll actually do them after a long day of work, helping with homework, dinner preparation and cleanup. The craft below is my favorite version even though it tested the limits of my craftiness and patience.
The finished product is absolutely gorgeous. The pictures below do not do it justice at all. I honestly wish I had a better camera when I took these pictures last year. For anyone who’s into crafts this is definitely something to try. HOWEVER if you are not into crafts you can scroll down to the easy, more realistic version below. I 100% believe in taking the easy, cheaty way to being a good parent. Trust me when I say your kids won’t notice the difference.
If you are reading this wondering why other moms do this kind of thing and you never have the time or energy, I have a confession to make: I made this craft a total of once. I was halfway into the project and decided 12 days of Christmas was better than 25. I was also not working and my son was in school full-time so I had a lot of time on my hands. Oh, and one of my best friends is super crafty and I did this at her house so she could get disgusted with my efforts and help me. It worked because she stepped in several times after I made several failed attempts.
8 ½ X 11 scrapbooking paper (I used green and red)-you will need 16 pieces (if you are doing a 12 day countdown) or 27 pieces (for 25 days)
Step 1: Plan out one activity to do with your child everyday for the first 25 days of December. I planned activities that took a little more time and effort on the weekend, for example riding Santa’s Train or going to the theater to see the Nutcracker. I also designated Fridays as Christmas movies night so I made sure I had a different movie to watch each week along with some hot chocolate and snuggling in our pajamas. During the week I tried to vary the activities between learning, giving, and fun. I printed some Christmas crossword puzzles, word searches, and Mad Libs off the computer for learning. I planned one night to make presents for all of my son’s teachers, one night to go shopping for family, one night for wrapping, and one night to attend a food drive. Of course we had to have some fun too! We have Christmas caroling, a trip to New York to see the lights, baking cookies, and a Christmas party for his friends planned.
Step 2: Go through the list and gather any supplies you need. It’s better to get it all now then to realize you’re supposed to be baking Christmas cookies but don’t have the ingredients. I put everything in a plastic storage box and I make sure any papers needed are in a file.
Step 3: Type out each activity and print. I try to put a different picture on each one and have a border so I know where to cut.
Step 4: Cut each paper in half so that you are working with 8 ½ X 5 ½ pieces and fold at 4 inches (there should be ½ inch extra paper on one side).
Step 6: Cut 3 inch by 5 inch pieces of paper (I alternated between red and green). Dip the number “1” stamp in Versamark and add the embossing glitter over the top. Shake off excess glitter and use a heater on the glitter. Watch as it embosses. Repeat with numbers 2-12 or 2-25.
Step 7: Glue the 3 x 5 pieces on the front of the card.
Christmas Countdown Craft Displayed
The Easy Cheaty Christmas Countdown:
Buy 25 (or a smaller amount like 12 for the 12 Days of Christmas or 7 for the week before Christmas) cheap Christmas cards and just write each activity on the inside. This saves so much time and your kids will be just as excited to complete their activities each day!