Homemade Holiday: Make your own Christmas Countdown

I am starting off the Homemade Holiday series with instructions on how to make your own Christmas Countdown. It’s an advent calendar of sorts, only instead of little goodies each day, there are fun activities that your family can enjoy together. One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is spending time together as a family, but it can get so busy that sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and enjoy it. This countdown helps our family slow down and enjoy Christmas more.

The countdown is made with paper and has magnets attached to the back of each number, so you can attach it directly to the front or your refgrigerator. You could also attach them to a cookies sheet and hang it on the wall if you wanted to. On the back of each number is a special activity that our family will do for each of the days before Christmas.

Here’s how to make your own Christmas Countdown

I started out with a piece of Making Memories Christmas scrapbook paper with 25 numbers printed on it,  I cut out each of the numbers.  Several scrapbook companies make numbered paper for Christmas, so you should be able to find one at a scrapbook store or even Michael’s. If you can’t locate any paper, you can easily use number stickers or print numbers out using your computer.

I added some fun embellishments, like buttons, ribbon and bling to dress them up a bit. I use Glue Dots to attach all of my embellishments, they are wonderful for attaching items that are bulky.

Next, you will add magnets to the back of each number. I used the magnets made specifically for business cards that have adhesive already on one side. If you are like me, you get lots of magnets with advertising on them, you could even use those.

Once you have all 25 days cut out and the magnets added, you will want to add the fun activiites on the back of each one. I got my calendar out for this, because we already have some activities planned, like going to the Nutcracker, so I made sure to have those activities coordinate with the correct number.

Here is the final project! It’s nice to look at and it will help your family share some fun family time together during the month of December.

Need some ideas for fun things to do during your countdown to Christmas? Here are the items I have on the back of mine (some of these are local events).

  • Read about the birth of Jesus
  • Go Christmas caroling
  • Bake Cookies
  • Watch Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Bring Treats to neighbors
  • Go to Snowflake Lane (FREE event at Bellevue Square)
  • Drive around and view Christmas lights
  • Visit the Giving Tree & choose some names – Get gifts
  • Family Christmas Party
  • Church Christmas Party
  • Read our favorite Christmas story
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Make Chex Mix
  • Make Chocolate covered pretzels
  • See the Nutcracker
  • Decorate the Christmas tree
  • Make Christmas cards
  • Drink hot cocoa with candy cane whip cream
  • Go see a holiday movie
  • Watch the Grinch that Stole Christmas
  • Leave a surprise on someone’s doorstep
  • Share Christmas memories
  • Go to Zoo Lights
  • Take donations to the Food Bank

Variation: If you would like to make something like this to have as more of a traditional advent calendar, you could put a clue on the back of each number to where the treats or goodies are hidden in the house.

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  1. Whitney says

    This is amazing!!! I’m thinking it would be a great idea as a gift too (probably without things to do on the back of them though haah ;)) Thanks for the idea! I especially love it because I am NOT crafty, but I could totally pull this off.

  2. says

    Very Cute!!

    My mom made my boys a fabric countdown calendar with pockets. Every year (6 years now!) she sends me a box full of little goodies to place in each pocket. Our boys love it!

  3. says

    I love this idea! I’m working on it right now. It’s a perfect way to NOT let the holiday slip by without INTENTIONALLY spending time making the season special for the kids. Love your specific ideas… I would add attending The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp http://www.warmbeach.com. It’s just an hour north of Seattle and worth the trip!

  4. says

    Love the magnets, Christy! I’ve heard it called something a little different – 25 days of Christmas & I’ve been planning our events/activities all year after hearing about it at my MOPS group last year! They just used paper chains, though, & I like the magnet idea so much better!

  5. Whitney says

    Is this a recent photo you took of the paper? I cannot find it ANYWHERE, including on websites etc. Any clues, hints?? Thanks!!

  6. says

    Whitney – I picked up the paper about a week ago at a local scrapbook store in Kent, WA called the Scrapbook Nook. I looked it up online, and it is actually an older line.

    Here are a couple of options for you:

    Cottage Christmas by Imaginesce

    Christmas Countdown Paper by Echo Park

  7. says

    Very cute idea! Thanks for sharing!

    I made one last year out of scrapbook paper/embellishments glued onto little treat-storing cardboard drawers made for that purpose, but this is more economical and very fun.

  8. Megan A says

    I love this idea! Yours came out so pretty! Did you order your scapbook paper through the making memories website or in a store? Also did you put glitter on each of the numbers yourself? It is gorgeous!

  9. says

    @Megan A – I bought the paper at a local scrapbook store. The glitter was already on the paper, I just added buttons, ribbons and rhinestones to a few of them. I have found out that it is an older piece of paper, so here are a few other options of newer paper.

    Cottage Christmas by Imaginesce

    Christmas Countdown Paper by Echo Park

    Thanks for the sweet words!

  10. Andrea Peckham says

    Hi there Christy!
    I saw this today and was inspired to make my own. I love this idea!! I have a scrapbook factory program on my computer and it was SO much FUN! Thank you again for the great idea. Happy Holidays :)

  11. Becca says

    I love this! I tried finding that paper at Michaels and Hobby Lobby with no luck. Any idea where I can get it?

  12. Victoria says

    This is a wonderful idea!!! I love it! I will get started making it tomorrow and am already compling a list (have to put “make gingerbread cookies/houses” on there somewhere!) Thank you so much (love the “leave a surprise on someone’s doorstep” idea)!

  13. Emma K says

    Thanks so much for the wonderful idea. I couldn’t find the numbered paper either but bought pretty paper and just printed the numbers onto coordinating paper and glue dotted them on.
    I also added to mine…. read favorite Christmas story book. Read Legend of the Candy Cane and eat a candycane.

  14. Misty L. says

    Love Love Love it! I had been looking for an idea like this to help my 4 yr old keep track of the days til Christmas. I went shopping instead of your blog!!! I found something that works, but this is so cute and it is crafty, I love crafty!

    I’ll be making one and might just give the one I bought as a gift! Thanks for the great ideas!

  15. Shauna Bohren says

    I cannot wait to make this! Thank you so much for this post, by the way we love Snowflake Lane also!

  16. says

    Thank you so much for this! I needed a good list for activities to put in my Christmas Countdown project, and most of these are perfect! It’s a great project. :) I found you on Pinterest.

  17. Melissa says

    I took this and ran with it! I made it BIG and used fabric with pockets! Its perfect and I love that my family is spending time together!

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