Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Countdown Tree {free printables}

I decided to try something a little different for our Advent calendar this year.  Since my family is already using a Jesse Tree for our daily Advent Bible readings, I wanted to find something that would be fun yet meaningful for my children to do.


So I decided to make a homemade countdown "calendar" tree that would include all the little things I'd like to as a family before Christmas.

And I thought I would share it all with you, too. :)

Here's how it works.

Each day, the kiddos will open one tag and read an activity I've written for them to do.  These include many little things like "read a Christmas book," "draw some Christmas cards," and other small things that are simple to do.  I also included a few crafts that I want to do with them, as well as our usual family traditions like putting up the Christmas tree, setting up the Nativity, and baking cookies.

I designed the tags to be very easy to print and assemble.  If you would like to make a Countdown Tree of your own, here are the printables and a quick tutorial for putting it all together.

:: part one ~ prepare your tags ::


Start by making a list of the things you'll write in your tags.  Here are some ideas I came up with, based on my family's traditions; I'm sure you will have many more of your own to fill up the days!


read a Christmas book (I used this activity for seven of my tags)
color/draw homemade Christmas cards
pick our Kris Kringles
make homemade Christmas gifts
make an ornament for the Christmas tree
decorate gingerbread houses
make homemade name tags for gifts
make peanut butter/pinecone birdfeeders
put up the Christmas tree
decorate the Christmas tree
set up the Nativity
hang up stockings
bake Christmas cookies
bring cookies and cards to neighbors, friends, family
fill a bag with toys to donate
bring food, toy, & clothing donations to local charity
wrap Christmas gifts

some other, easy ideas...
watch a favorite Christmas movie as a family
have a special snack
have a Christmas tea party/snack (or hot chocolate!)


Here are the printable tags.  Please let me know if you have any trouble printing them out!


Trim the tags apart on the black cut-lines.


 Then fold the four corners over on the red lines.


Write your note on the inside, under the flaps.




Seal the tag with a dab of glue, a sticker, or a piece of clear tape (what I used).



Punch a hole in the corner of each tag.  Tie with ribbon, raffia (pictured on our tree, above), thread, or string (twine is pictured below).


:: part two ~ assemble your tree ::

This is really very simple.  For our tree, I had my kids gather some twigs that fell off the trees in our yard.  I arranged them in a glass vase, using pinecones and fake cranberries as a filler.    (They were leftovers from old potpurri and other decorations I am no longer using).





Other containers that would work very well are old jars (large), crocks, planters, etc.  A few other filler ideas could include rocks from outside (we used that for our Thanksgiving Tree), raffia, greenery, old ornaments, coffee beans.


I used a strip of white fabric from my scrap pile to make the ribbon, although I think the raffia would be very cute there, too.

Hang your tags on the tree....and you are all set!


Wishing you and your family a Blessed Advent!

:: linking up at ::
Women Living Well
Raising Homemakers
Growing Home
Far Above Rubies

4 comments:

  1. Do you know how much I LOVE and APPRECIATE you sharing this with us????

    Thank you so much for the printables... my printer is on and ready to print!!!

    I always enjoy coming over here!!!

    You're such a good mama!!!

    Love carissa

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  2. This is a wonderful tutorial and idea, Collette! Simple, yet beautiful. Thank you for the free use of your pretty tags too!

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  3. It is SO cute! Kids look forward to surprises... I bet they will love this! You're so creative!

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  4. Popping over from Teach Me Tuesdays. That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing :)

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Things are pretty busy around our house, so I can't always leave as many replies as I would like to. But please know that I look forward to reading every note you send my way - they brighten my day! Blessings,Collette

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