advent calendar ideas

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Inside: The Christmas countdown box is a lovely way to plan nice family activities to enjoy with your kids before Christmas! 

One of our favorite things to do at the beginning of December is to create a countdown calendar with one nice idea to try every day before Christmas.

It’s a lovely way to use holiday time to connect and create wonderful family moments!

This is the third year when I will prepare a nice list of activities for us to do together and I am looking forward to enjoying every one of them!

There are many ways to create awesome countdown calendars for kids, but I’m not a very crafty person, so I just wanted to try something easy to do. And I’ve discovered an idea that I love: the Christmas countdown box!

Christmas countdown box

photo credit: YanLev /

You can prepare it in a few minutes, and it will offer you (and your kids) 24 lovely moments to enjoy together before Christmas.

How to prepare the Christmas Countdown Box

You will need:

  • a small box (either a Christmas-themed box or a normal box that you can decorate with your kids)
  • colored number stickers (you can manually write the number if you want but these stickers look really nice on the envelopes)
  • 24 activity cards (you can download them at the end of the article)
Christmas countdown box

How to create the Christmas Countdown Box

This is very simple! The box will be ready in a few minutes, and your kids will certainly enjoy it!

1. If you have a normal box, you can decorate it with your kids to give it a more festive look. If you already bought a Christmas-themed box, you can skip this step.

2. Print the activity cards at the end of the article and cut them out.

(Optional: For durability, you can print them on cardstock or laminate them.)

3. Use the stickers to put a number from 1 to 24 on each of the envelopes.

4. Place the activity cards in the envelopes.

When you place each activity in the envelope take a look at the calendar and make sure that you chose a day when you’ll have time to do that activity. For example, we scheduled more elaborated activities during the weekend when we have more time to put them into practice.

5. Place all the envelopes (in the right order from 1 to 24) in the box.

And the most beautiful part: Offer the box to your kids and let them know that you have planned one nice activity to do together every day until Christmas.

I am sure that they will be very happy and excited to check the box every single day to see what activity is next.

Choose activities that will make you happy

There are a lot of Christmas activity ideas that you can find all over the internet. And some of them are really awesome!

In the last two years, we opted for a “classical” activity list that included activities like decorating the tree, making Christmas crafts, baking cookies, and so on.

We liked them because they brought nice family moments, but this year I wanted something different. And most of all, I wanted to make sure that every activity will really bring us joy.

My son doesn’t like doing crafts. I don’t like to bake cookies. And my husband certainly doesn’t like to create homemade ornaments. So we decided to simply give up doing these activities!

Instead, we came up with another idea:

We created a holiday bucket list of 24 things that we really want to do before Christmas. We will still do traditional things that we love (like driving around town to see the lights), but we will skip all the activities that aren’t truly “compatible” with what we like.

So maybe we will not have any Christmas crafts in our house this year, but we will do 24 things that we hope to bring us a lot of joy!

Download the printable activity cards

If you want to create your own holiday bucket list and fill in the activity cards with your own ideas, click the link below to get the blank activity cards:

Download the activity cards (blank template)

More resources for planning easy and fun holiday activities with your kids

If you prefer the filled-in version of the activity cards, with 24 activity ideas to enjoy with your kids, click here to download the printable Holiday Fun Kit.

It includes all the cards plus many other activities to try with your little ones this holiday season.

printable Holiday Fun Kit for kids

Want to remember this? Share the ideas to your favorite Pinterest board!

The Christmas countdown box is an easy and lovely way to plan fun family activities to enjoy with your kids before Christmas! Download the printable Christmas activity cards and create a Christmas countdown calendar for your kids!

photo credit preview photo: Evgeny Atamanenko /

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  1. I don’t think I can even begin to express how much I love this!! My daughter will be turning 4 soon, and I feel like this is the year when she’ll finally begin to GET Christmas (last year was a great start, so I know this will be better) and I wanted to start new family traditions. I was thinking about doing an advent calendar, but I love this even more!

    1. I’m very glad that you liked this idea! My son is 5 now and last year we had an amazing holiday season. It was the first time when he really participated in all the activities and we had a wonderful time!

      I wish you and your daughter an awesome holiday season with a lot of joy and connection!