Family Time Calendar: Holiday Countdown Chest

Only a few more days until December and the countdown to the holiday season! Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all celebrated within days of each other so it will be a long month of anticipation for lots of children.

Ease the long wait by creating a "Holiday Countdown Chest." When it's done, parents can fill it with tiny surprise treats to build the excitement of each passing day. A similar box can also be created to count down to a child's birthday each year.

What you'll need:

  • Divided box (plastic storage container with removable dividers to create any number of sections)
  • Permanent colored markers
  • Tiny treats that will fit into each section, such as individually wrapped candies, gumball machine trinkets, coins or game tokens, stickers, etc.
  • Brightly colored tissue paper
  • Scissors


What you'll do:

Determine how many "countdown days" there are until your holiday and insert dividers. Using permanent markers, write the "countdown numbers" on the box cover, corresponding to each section inside the box (i.e., 1 to 25 for Christmas, 1 to 26 for Kwanzaa, etc.) If desired, add more decorations using the colored markers.

To maintain the "surprise" of the Countdown Chest, the next part is for adults only: Cut tissue paper sheets into pieces to wrap each individual little item. Place one wrapped item into each section.

Then the kids take over on December 1, taking the treat from Box No. 1 ... and another one each day!

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