Christmas: Countdown-to-Christmas calendar

Every year after Halloween, the Christmas catalogs start arriving at our house, and I find myself eyeing the Advent calendars.

My four-year-old daughter eagerly anticipates Christmas, and I want to find something to help her count down the days that is a little more elegant than making big black Xs on our December calendar. However, Advent calendars are generally $25 or more and they all seem a little too simple. As each day passes, you either move a little marker from one pocket to another, or you stick a tiny ornament on a tiny tree. I'd prefer something that takes a little more involvement each day -- an activity that would engage my daughter for more than 15 seconds.

This year, I decided to create my own countdown-to-Christmas calendar, something that my daughter could use to track her buildup of excitement to the big day, and something creative that we could do together to help us both get in a festive mood. What I came up with is simple, fun, creative and can be adapted to whatever theme you would like to use.

This craft has two parts. First, you create a small Christmas tree, and each day your child will make an ornament to decorate it.

Tree Supplies:

  • 1 piece of mat board or heavy cardboard
  • Heavy-duty scissors or razor
  • Tacky glue or hot glue
  • 1 yard green felt
  • Loop of ribbon

Ornament Supplies:

  • Thin cardboard or poster board
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter, sequins, felt scraps, paint, wrapping paper, construction paper, markers
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