It’s early, I know, but I really have been thinking about the upcoming holidays, mostly because I am just so excited for Christmas! And my kids are just as excited as I am!
Between decorating the Christmas tree and our home, buying gifts, and spending Christmas in a warm place with my husband off of school for five weeks, it just is so exciting!
As a parent, I’m especially excited to start building real, regular family Christmas traditions. Because I really believe family traditions are so important!
One of the more recent trends that I love around Christmas time is doing something special for each of the 25 days leading up to Christmas or even the 12 days before Christmas (even though apparently the 12 days of Christmas are supposed to start after Christmas, not before! It’s fun whichever way you do it!). Here are some fun countdown Christmas traditions you can start or implement with your kids.
I decided to look up and gather several fun ways to countdown to Christmas for kids and families! I highly suggest you pick one (or more) to start or implement with your kids this Christmas season!
Countdown to Christmas Ideas: 25 Days of Christmas
There are lots of different ways families like to get in the Christmas spirit in their homes, and a popular Christmas tradition is counting down to Christmas starting on December 1st. Here are four popular traditions families can each day before Christmas for 25 days:
25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar
I think it is a lot of fun to make Christmas magical starting some traditions starting the first day of December! I made a 25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar (pictured below) and loved having it a part of our home.
Before December started, I mapped out 25 days’ worth of scriptures and activities we could do for each of the 25 days. I looked at community events that were happening, included things already on our calendar, like church parties, and trips to grandma’s house, and tried to fit them to the actual days of the week and so on. Every year I try to make a new calendar.
What I like about doing the advent calendar this way is that it’s a family affair, and it’s an activity rather than a gift, as well as a daily scripture about Jesus Christ. I know my girls will be extra excited this year to do it!
25 Days of Christmas Countdown Activities
Like I mentioned, it’s fun to have specific Christmas-related, or just fun holiday stuff, to do every day counting down to Christmas. That’s why I love that The Dating Divas have both a Christmas Countdown for your spouse and a Family Christmas countdown.
The Family Christmas Countdown: 25 days of activities to help your family bond over Holiday fun with coordinating printables! Includes things like a Christmas card kit, random acts of kindness notes, Santa letter templates, reindeer food instructions and more.
Both of them are great for helping you figure out what to do for the 25 days leading up to Christmas and in a pretty, colorful way! Pick one or both up here.
This is a more recent Christmas countdown tradition that I know many people have latched onto and really love – The Elf on the Shelf.
Every day for 25 days before Christmas, Santa’s elf observes the children in your home, serving as Sant’s eyes and ears, and reports back to Santa every night. Children can talk to the elf, but they can’t touch it. Then on Christmas Eve is disappears until the next year.
My family has not participated in the Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition as of yet, and I don’t think we really have plans to as we prefer some Elf on the Shelf Alternatives (many which are listed in this post).
But I tell you, seeing all of my friend’s pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest of what their house elves have been up to are hilarious and awesome and oh, so, creative. I feel like I get to vicariously participate in this tradition! Many children love it!
A fun tradition we do in our family is using the Northpole Communicator, also starting on December 1st, counting down 25 days of Christmas.
Starting on December 1 of each year, our family gets to tune into the communicator, just once a day, to talk to Santa or one his elves (or Mrs. Clause) at the Northpole and talk to them by pressing the button on the communicator.
They usually ask open-ended questions and are very excited to talk to our kids. We have the kids take turns using it, so they all end up with multiple turns talking to whoever in the North Pole.
If it’s before December 1, or after the once-a-day communication, the Northpole communicator plays a “try again later” recorded message or static air sounds.
We also got a copy of the Hallmark book Northpole Once Upon a Northpole Christmas and a fun Snowflake Beacon (which we hang on the outside of our door on Christmas night to make sure Santa sees our home). All of these products launched in stores starting November 1, 2014.
Focusing on the true meaning of Christmas is DaySpring’s Shepherd on the Search. Instead of hiding a naughty Elf on the Shelf, you hide a shepherd, who is on the search for Jesus’ arrival, ending Christmas day with him finding the Nativity manger.
And bonus, the whole set comes with a book (yeah for more books!), CD, the Shepherd, and a little Nativity for just $30.
Kindness Elves are kind of like Elf on the Shelf, but they promote acts of service instead of, well, Elf stuff.
The Kindness Elves are magical friends who love nothing more than to sprinkle kindness and joy wherever they go!
They love to visit your home and spread this happiness with your children, encouraging them to do small acts of kindness in their daily lives. This simple, yet powerful, idea of spreading kindness amongst kids has become incredibly popular with parents during the 25 Days of Christmas.
It’s such a wonderful holiday tradition! I love that the elves make suggestions for acts of service and that the elves will sometimes do a bit of service for members of the household too. If you want to join me in using them, pick up your own unique Kindness Elves set (they’re only $24.78).
A New Christmas Book Each Day
A growing trend is for families to wrap up 24 or 25 new books, preferably Christmas books, to be read each day before Christmas, helping to create a wonderful family moment as you read the book together as a family, all snuggled up close together (maybe even by a fire!). It’s a really neat tradition! Check out my list of 25 Jesus-Centered Children’s Christmas Books for some inspiration on what books to gift!
This ebook is a great way to make Christmas really meaningful! Each day of Advent, Truth in the Tinsel leads you through a passage of scripture, a corresponding ornament craft, and talking points for you and your kids. It’s more than a book and devotional: it’s mediation, hands-on learning, and memory builder for your family. It’s a great way to really experience God’s word leading up to Christmas with your family and a fun way to make decorations for your Christmas tree too! Perfect for kids from preschool to elementary ages. You can buy a copy here.
12 Days of Christmas
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