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About 10 years ago I came across this simple DIY Christmas countdown. My oldest son was just 6 years old at the time and I wanted to start a tradition for a Christmas countdown that I could use every year.
When I found this countdown I had to make it! It was inexpensive, and it only took me an evening to put it together. This was so fun and quite simple to make. Although we are missing the last box for Christmas day, and a couple of the boxes don’t look as good as they did 10 years ago, it has stood the test of time, and we are still using it every Christmas season.
How to make this Christmas countdown
What I used in this project
- 25 Small match boxes (But as you can see 24 boxes will work too!)
- Brown paper bags (I used brown paper grocery bags)
- Christmas scrap book paper
- Scrap book letter and number stickers
- Cookie sheet (I used an old one my mom wasn’t using anymore). Be sure that a magnet will stick to the cookie sheet you choose
- Adhesive magnets
Now it’s time to assemble your countdown
- From the brown paper bags, cut out paper to cover the match boxes. Glue the paper around the outside of each box.
- Cut small pieces of paper from your scrap book paper and glue to the front of each box to decorate. Get creative with each box to make each one unique.
- place numbers on each box from 1-24. For the 25th box you can add the words “Merry Christmas”.
- Stick magnets to the back of each box.
- Punch a hole in the top of the cookie sheet, and put a ribbon through it to hang it from. If you have a cookie sheet that you can repurpose, even better! I love the vintage vibe that my old cookie sheet gives.
- Decorate the cookie sheet with Scrap book paper. I also added the words, “days ’til Christmas” at the top.
- Cut out small pieces of scrap book paper to fit inside each box to write your activities on for each day.
So now that your simple DIY Christmas countdown is ready to go, it’s time to fill each box with a fun Christmas activity! On each small piece of paper, write down an activity using your own family traditions, or choose from the list below.
Here’s my go-to list of activities for Christmas countdown
- Bring home/set up the christmas tree
- Decorate the house for Christmas
- Read Christmas stories
- Watch a Christmas movie
- Make Christmas cookies
- Drink hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music
- Drive through Christmas tree lane
- Go Christmas shopping
- Make Christmas cookies to give to a friend
- Make Christmas crafts
- Find a small hidden gift (I like to purchase a new Christmas story book, activity book, or mad libs Christmas addition, wrap it up and hide it for my little ones to find)
- Do Christmas activity books/coloring books
- Crack nuts by the fire (I buy whole nuts and place bowls by the fire for us to crack the nuts open and enjoy)
- Wear your new Christmas pajamas
- On Christmas Eve-Christmas stocking hunt (We love to stuff every family members stocking the night before Christmas and hide them around the house. Then everyone hunts for their stocking)
- Make ginger bread houses
- Play games
- Make candles
- A day of sledding (if you live in or near snow country, gather friends and family for a fun day of outdoor winter fun)
- Roast marshmallows in the fireplace, or outside in a fire pit
- Make Christmas cards to give to friends
- Wrap Christmas gifts
- Put a Christmas puzzle together
- Make Christmas ornaments
- Go to or host a Christmas party
Plan out each week ahead of time
I try to plan out my week in advance and then fill the boxes ahead of time. Then every morning the kids open the countdown and anticipate the activity which usually happens in the evening. A couple of these activities can be used more than once, and if you are a busy mom like me, watching a Christmas movie may come in handy often! Haahaa
Setting the mood for your Christmas countdown activities
I like to make each evening as memorable as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to set the mood with the right Christmas music. For instance, if we are reading a Christmas story, or putting together a puzzle, peaceful Celtic christmas music is a favorite in our home. Or, if we are decorating the house for Christmas, jolly upbeat music sets the right festive mood.
Lighting is also important! If the activity for the night is a hot chocolate bar, dim the lights, and be sure to put bulbs that are at least 1600k to give the warmest low light possible. Turn on your favorite Christmas music, and you are all set for an evening of all the cozy Christmas feels.
I hope this has given you some ideas for your holiday season. Let me know in the comments below if you make this simple DIY Christmas countdown! Tag me on social media so I can see your creation. Also, give me your ideas for fun activities for christmas countdown. I’m always looking for ways to mix it up each year.