I rarely talk about myself on this blog, other than to tell you my opinion on a book and that’s really how I want it. I want to tell you about all the fabulous, or not-so-fabulous books I’ve read. Today, however, I’m going to share what my family has been up to this December.
We have two children, 8 and 6 years old. My husband organizes a Christmas Countdown each December. Each day in December the kids get to open a box with a note in it that tells them what family activity we are going to do that day. It’s like a real life advent calendar. We find that it is an amazing way for us to stay connected and to enjoy the holidays as a family!
Day 1 – Advent Calendars
Well we have to kick it off somehow, so we start with actual advent calendars for the kids. This year they each got a chocolate one and a “toy” one.
Our son loves Fortnite, so he received a Funko Pop Fortnite calendar, which was totally worth the money. It’s awesome!
Our daughter loves these tiny little squishy toy things and my husband managed to find an advent calendar for them.
Day 2 – Christmas PJs
Pjs are pretty important in our household. We wear them a lot. My poor husband is always up, dressed and ready at the crack of dawn. The rest of the family will chill in PJs for most of the day if given the chance.
So, each year, the kids get a new pair of pajamas. This year, they got matching ones! If you want to play I Spy, you’ll find these PJs show up a lot because we get our money’s worth out of our Christmas PJs each year!
Day 3 – Letters to Santa
Some might say this is THE most important day of Christmas Countdown. Letters to Santa are a high priority. The kids tore right into this notebook to get started on their lists and we mailed them that day!
Day 4 – Christmas Cups
We usually get new Christmas plates for the kids each year, but it turns out we have bought all the plates that are available apparently. My husband couldn’t find a Christmas plate that we didn’t already own the pattern of!
He’s quite resourceful though, so he went with Christmas cups instead! And they are actually quite the hit! We have Fa-La-La-Llamas and Cats in Christmas Sweaters.
Day 5 – Salvation Army Jars
The kids received Rubbermaid food storage totes today. We gave them stickers to decorate and Voila! We’ve turned them into little piggy banks. The kids will store loose change in these and we’ll take them with us when going out shopping to drop change into the bell ringer buckets!
Day 6 – Snowball Fight!
Last year, my husband found these fluffy fake snowballs on Amazon and bought them for 2018 Countdown. We had the most epic snowball fight in the house and the kids absolutely loved it, so it’s now something we will do each year. And the best part is it’s free for us to keep doing it each year! Well, that and the fact that we are indoors and not freezing for this snowball fight!
Day 7 – Movie Night!
Movie night is a top countdown night for us! We get popcorn, order pizza, and watch a favorite Christmas movie together. This year, we picked Elf!
Notice our daughter is showing off those squishy toys she loves so much!
Day 7 (BONUS) – Go See Santa!
A dear friend of ours hosts a Hot Cocoa with Santa party at her house each year and it is the best! The REAL Santa comes, the kids just know it. Look at his belt for proof.
Day 8 – Christmas Extravaganza!
This day is made possible by our local city park district. They hosted a super fun Christmas party where the kids got to do a ton of crafts, play games, have hot chocolate, and watch a dance team.
Day 9 – Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt!
My husband hides candy canes all around the house and when the kids get home from school, they get to hunt for candy canes.
Fun fact….11 days later and I was still finding candy canes that we missed the first time around. It’s the game that keeps going 🙂
Day 10 – Christmas Books
This day is, of course, one of my favorites! I get to buy the kids each a new holiday book! This year I picked The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold ( my favorite!) and The Crayons’ Christmas (a close second). I linked my reviews to the book titles if you are interested in reading more about these!
Day 11 – Christmas Mad Libs
Yep. Mad Libs. A super fun and silly activity that was filled with words to describe bodily functions thanks to my kiddos. We all had a great time with these!
Day 12 – Christmas Socks!
Just like we like our PJ’s, we also like warm, fun socks!
Day 13 – Christmas Sundaes
We buy peppermint ice cream and pull out anything in our cabinets that could be an ice cream topper and then add holiday sprinkles! This is a super fun and yummy night!
Day 14 – Christmas Tree Solo Cup Challenge
A friend of ours did this game with her kids this year and then sent the cups our way so we could too!
The kids had to create a 5 x 5 base and build a tree from there. Each child made quite the successful tree! Since then, we have continued to have fun building different types of Solo cup stacks!
Day 15 – Ice Skating…
This was the worst Christmas Countdown day ever. We took the kids ice skating and there was an accident that involved stitches to a finger for our daughter from a very severe cut from another skater. We have crossed this off our list of things to do in the future 😦
Emaline’s finger is healing well though, and she was the bravest little girl.
Day 16 – Christmas Dance Party!
Glow Sticks and Christmas music…we shall dance the night away 🙂 A nice safe event after yesterday’s accident.
Day 17 – Picnic Under the Tree
An absolute favorite for the entire household! We lay out a Christmas tablecloth, grab KFC, and eat on Christmas plates with holiday music playing. It’s such an enjoyable evening.
Day 18 – Hot Cocoa and Carols
Everyone gets a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and we play Christmas carols and sing!
Day 19 – Christmas Game Night
My husband organizes Christmas themed games for this night. Our favorite was the one pictured, getting snowballs into the cups. Red cups were worth 5 points and green were worth 1. Emaline won (she’s pretty serious about games).
We also had a ring toss onto nutcrackers, a game with Hershey Kisses, and a marshmallow game.
Day 20 – Reindeer Chow
We picked the kids up from school and made a yummy batch of Reindeer Chow to enjoy over the next few days! We used the recipe from CrunchyCreamySweet but used corn chex instead of muddy buddies.
Reindeer Chow Ingredients:
- Muddy Buddies
- red and green M&M’s candy
- any other holiday candy you like
How to make Reindeer Chow?
- Prepare Muddy Buddies: melt chocolate with oil, and toss with cereal to coat evenly. Toss with powdered sugar.
- Combine pretzels, M&M’s candy and Muddy Buddies in a bowl.
- Serve right away or divide into gift bags.
Day 22 – Christmas Lights
We print out a kid-friendly (words and pictures) Christmas Lights scavenger hunt and drive around finding things to mark off the list. Each year there’s always ONE thing that is hard to find. Ice skates was the one that got away a few year’s ago. We never did find any. This year, it turned out to be an Elf. We had just about given up and told the kids it was time to head home, and there, right on the corner were three elves with Santa! Hooray!
This year we used Talkofthetrains Blog’s printable scavenger hunt.
Day 23 – Gingerbread Houses
Today the kids each received a kit to make a gingerbread house. They had a ton of fun decorating their houses!
Day 24 – Christmas Eve Party
Happy Christmas Eve to everyone! Today we host Christmas for my husband’s side of the family. We will exchange gifts, eat lots of food, go to bed to wait for SANTA!
Thanks for reading through my family’s Christmas tradition. What holiday traditions do you have?
I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas!