Ever since he saw the first decorations for Christmas, back in October, my 5 year old has been asking, ‘How many days until Christmas?’ Now, with Thanksgiving over, and the Christmas push in full gear he is asking even more often. Time is such a hard concept to explain to a child that is wrapped up in the excitement of a coming holiday. Usually, we do a traditional advent calendar to countdown the days, but this year I opted for something different.
For the month of November we had ‘The Thankful Tree’. With hopes of recycling those branches into our Christmas decor I came up with a new idea for our Advent calendar, an Advent Tree.
If you’d like to make one of your own, here’s what you’ll need…
Small-medium branches, spray painted white (painting optional)
Base for the branches–I used a large Mason jar, but a vase would work as well
24 cardstock tags
24 festive stickers
string or ribbon to tie tags to branches
Lightly spray the branches with white to give them a more seasonal feel.
On one side of the tag write the date, on the other side write an activity, scripture verse or conversation starter related to Christmas.
Tie the string/ribbon onto the tags and hang them on your branches.
Each day, take a tag off, read it and follow whatever the directions may be.
This came together easily in an afternoon and I even enlisted my 5 year old to put on stickers and write a few dates on the tags. At first, it was a little overwhelming to come up with 24 activities, but after getting started, ideas just kept coming.
Here are a few ideas for your tags…
Walking the neighborhood to look at holiday lights
Making hot cocoa and reading your favorite Christmas story
Making salt or cinnamon dough ornaments
Writing/making a Christmas card to send to someone special
Taking a bag of food to the local food bank
Doing a craft together
Making a Christmas playlist
Playing ‘I Spy’ for signs of the holidays when on a road trip
Lighting the candles for each new week of Advent
Choosing a favorite Holiday cookie/treat to make
How do you countdown to the holidays? I’d love to hear your ideas!