11 Dec
Posted in: projects
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Counting Down 12 Days to Christmas

12 days to Christmas Santa Cluas shaped countdown calendar

I do best when I have a list to work from. I don’t forget things or continually push things to the next day if I’ve written it down (most of the time). I get great satisfaction from crossing tasks off a list. I may even write things down I’ve already accomplished just to cross them off. I’ve learned over the years to schedule family time along with to-do items. Our family countdown of the 12 days leading up to Christmas acts like a list of surprise fun for me.

close up of Santa shaped 12 days to Christmas countdown calendar

We have a Santa calendar hanging in our front room. For each of the 24 days before Christmas, the kids remove a candy cane made from twisted chenille stems. The 12 days before Christmas have an added bonus with the candy cane. Each of those days includes a piece of folded paper with a family fun item for that day. I’m the only one who knows what’s on any given day. The rules are simple. Each activity is completed the day it’s drawn from. Mom and dad can’t make excuses and not follow through.

candy cane made of chenille stems

I’ll admit some of the 12 days have scheduled items already on the calendar, dance and music recitals come to mind. Other activities like watching a new movie at the theatre are put on days I know we can accomplish it like on a weekend. Most of the activities are traditions for us. The kids know they’re coming. They just don’t know when. I enjoy the excitement when they read in the morning what the day holds.

Other examples of activities are baking/decorating sugar cookies, making gingerbread houses, driving around to view Christmas lights, having an indoor snowball fight, enjoying a hot chocolate buffet and watching a Christmas movie. I caught my 12-year-old attempting to look ahead for what the days hold. Even that makes me smile. I remember that excitement surrounding Christmas and what packages and parties held. I honestly didn’t think I could wait for the surprises of the Christmas season to unfold. Now my excitement is based on the joy I find on those four faces as they try to contain their excitement.

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