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A Christmas Tradition Children Love

Christmas Countdown with a twist.

A Fun Christmas Tradition

A simple idea I started when my children were young has become a beloved Christmas tradition in our household. Our Christmas countdown incorporates the idea of Hanukah (where little gifts are given daily) and the 12 days of Christmas.  I bought miniature stockings to hang on the tree.  Inside each stocking are either tiny presents, a piece of paper with a scavenger hunt hint to find bigger gifts or a special activity for the day.  Each morning we pick 1 random stocking from the Christmas tree and we enjoy the gift or activity for that day.  Both the tiny gifts and scavenger hunts for more gifts are fun, but as the years have progressed it’s the holiday activities my kids enjoy most.

For the different holiday activities, I chose things I enjoyed from my childhood and activities I thought would help my children better understand the concept of giving.  My suggestion is to let your imagination be your guide as you come up with your own list, and feel free to ask your children what they want to do. One activity we really enjoy is driving through an unfamiliar neighborhood and choosing a house to drop off our Christmas basket.  It is fun to imagine the family’s reaction when they get home to find an unexpected gift basket on their doorstep.

Here are some fun activities we’ve done in the past:

  • Sleep under the Christmas tree.
  • Drink hot chocolate under the stars.
  • Make a Christmas basket for a stranger and leave on doorstep.
  • Make an ornament for the tree.
  • Do a random act of kindness and share what you did at the end of the day.
  • Hand out candy canes at the bus stop.
  • Decorate cookies and give to friends and neighbors.
  • King/queen for the day – Everyone gets their own day.
  • Help a neighbor (shovel the walk, walk their dog, etc.).
  • Drive around to look at Christmas lights.
  • Christmas Movies at your house (invite friends).
  • Make homemade Christmas cards.
  • Make little bags of useful supplies to hand out to the homeless.
  • Make a family of snowmen together as a family.
  • Make dinner for Dad – kids decide the menu and make it without mom (so cute when they are little and Dad gets a very interesting meal like PBJ or cereal).
Make a snowman family!

 A few years after we started this tradition, my children asked for more days and I complied.  Now the tradition includes a full 24 day countdown.

What You Need to Get Started:

For Mini Stockings from The Stocking Place, click here.

For Mini Stockings from Oriental Trading, click here.

To decorate your own mini stockings from Retro Toys, click here.

How to Knit Your Own Mini Stockings, click here.

If you want to include gifts:

For Small Toys from Small, click here.  

For Toy Assortments from Oriental Trading, click here.  

* This tradition does not have to be expensive.  You can visit stores like the Dollar Tree  to get the materials you need.  Again, it’s the activities done as a family that kids really cherish and request year after year.

Leave a comment if you try it this year and let me know how it goes!  If you have additional ideas for activities to include on the tree, please share.