Christmas 2020 can be approached two different ways.  We can enter the season with heavy hearts and focus on everything we are going to miss out on due to a world wide pandemic.  Or we could take the opportunity to create new memories and traditions.  I for one, am really excited for Christmas 2020.  In a year that has been very long, tedious, and boring at times, I am looking forward to  waking up each day to participate in our Family Christmas Countdown Activity.

When Hannah was a toddler, Pintrest was becoming popular.  As I scrolled through the ideas, I wanted to do every Christmas craft project I saw.  Not wanting to overwhelm Hannah all in one day, I decided to spread the activities out and our Family Christmas Countdown tradition was born.

In November, I sit down with a blank calendar and I plan out the month of activities.  I try to include at least one; snack, craft, gift, game, or event each week.
Then I assemble our advent envelopes.  Each envelope has a Bible verse written on the front (here is a similar list of the verses we use).
Inside the envelope, I write out a clue, a riddle, or description of a family activity.

After waiting all year, December 1st finally arrives and the kids race to read our first envelope of the season.  We start the activity with our advent verse and then try to figure out the clue.  Many popular activities are carried over year after year, but I’m also willing to try something new.  Below is my list of our 2020 Countdown.  For more information about a specific activity, click on the hyperlink. Days with * next to them will have their own Every Day Mom post coming soon.  Stay tuned.

 

Family Christmas Countdown 2020

1st: Lego Advent Calendars. My kids are already asking about these.  They are a great distraction each morning as my kids are ready to start the countdown and I’m ready for a cup of coffee.

2nd: Matching Family Christmas Shirt and Socks.  I always do this activity early so we have festive clothes to wear all month.

3rd: Star Ornaments.  The kids have decorated these every year since their first Christmas and we place a recent picture in the center.  When we decorate the tree, the kids love being responsible for hanging their own stars and I love reminiscing how little they once were.

4th: Family Movie Night – Mulan.  Usually we go to the movie theater to see the most recent release but this year we’ll select a special snack and create a movie theater experience at home.  The live action Mulan hits Disney+ for general viewing (with subscription) on December 4th.

5th: Grinch Day.

6th: Family Tree. These hand print trees were my favorite activity.  My family has requested no more hand painting, so instead we work together to create tree art using various mediums.

 

 

7th: Santa Cookie Elf Candy Snowman Card Game and a snack.  (We love Pepperidge Farms Milano Slices Peppermint Cookies as a yearly treat.)

8th: Make Peppermint Cookies and Peppermint Bark and delivering to friends. To make the bark: I melt a bag of white chips, stir in crushed candy canes, and then spread on a piece of wax paper to cool, then break into bite size pieces.  To make the cookies: Follow the link to the recipe.  I dip the entire cracker into dark chocolate melts.  They taste just like Thin Mints.

9th: Read a Story, Make a Craft.  I got these kits at an end of the season sale last year.

10th: KiwiCo Little Tree Crate.

11th: Marble Games Challenge. Our family loves a good challenge and STEAM project.  I’m thinking of dividing into two teams. Giving each team a pile of supplies, and letting them create a game for the other team to play.

12th: Frosty the Snowman Day. Frosty Movie and Snowman Pancakes

13th: Peppermint Ice Cream and Christmas Trivia Night.

14th: Marshmallow Battle.  This is probably our favorite activity and it comes back every year.  We have an indoor snowball fight using marshmallows as the snowballs.

15th: Plastic Wrap Prize Ball.

16th: KiwiCo Crystal Chemistry Tree.

17th: Bake Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies and deliver to friends.

18th: Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt.  Before taking a drive to look at lights, we create a list of what we hope to see along the way.  Then we each take a guess how many of that object we will see (for example: how many Baby Yoda Inflatables will we see this year?).  As we drive, we keep count.  The person who guesses the closest wins.

19th: Reindeer Day.*

20th: Gift Auction. This one is a new one for us this year.  I’m excited to see how it goes over.

21st: Gingerbread Houses.

22nd: Waffle Trees.

23rd: Gingerbread Roll Game.

24th: New Christmas PJ’s. I read somewhere that one tradition is everyone gets a new book on Christmas Eve.  The family then spends the day reading and eating chocolate.  I’m think that is a great idea.  The question is, do I wait to give new PJ’s in the evening or first thing so we can read in comfort?

25th: Merry Christmas! Enjoy celebrating the day!