It’s fun to figure out what the coming festive weeks of family life will look like with this countdown-to-Christmas activity. Get started right now to give meaning, structure and surprise to the busy month.
First, find your bundle of stashed-away 2016 holiday cards or other cards you have saved through the years. Choose enough for each day counting down to Christmas. Aim for cards that are fairly similar in size, and that are blank on the reverse side of the front of the card. You also can use printed photos from years past, depicting special times like cutting down or decorating a Christmas tree or going caroling or sledding.
Let school-age kids cut off the front of each card and set them aside for the project. If there is writing on the back, they can measure and cut out plain paper the size of the card, and affix it to the backside with glue. Stack the fronts of the cards and photos, face-side up, in a pile. Measure and punch one hole at the top center of each card/photo. Punch two holes, 2 inches apart, at the bottom of each card/photo.
Loop a stationery ring through each of the bottom holes, creating a mini-book. Flip the stack over and, with the rings at the top, number the backs of the cards with the dates counting to the 25th. Using your calendar as a reference, write a family activity or reminder by the number for each day. Include favorite family traditions and have fun making up new ones. For example, “Bake cookies,” “Craft ornaments,” “Pick up Aunt Jane at the airport.” Include a birthday if there is one, or add an inspirational thought or conversation starter, like “Share with the family the best Christmas gift you ever gave.” Decorate with stickers or cutouts, if you wish.
Once you have done the first activity, lift up that card and hang the countdown cards on the wall or a bulletin board in your kitchen or family room from the single hole at the top. The next activity in December will be revealed with a colorful card or photo above.
Your kids will look forward to flipping a card each day until Christmas. No peeking ahead!
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” ©2017 Donna Erickson
King Features Synd.