DIY Christmas countdown calendar

Countdown is on for Christmas Day!
Countdown is on for Christmas Day! Photo: Getty Images

Kids love a countdown especially when Santa is waiting with his sack full of presents at the end of it. Which is why it's a great idea to create your own advent calendar for Christmas. The best part is that you can include family activities instead of cheap-tasting chocolate. 

Here are some simple ideas that you can use to create your own Christmas calendar. Some of which won't cost a thing and can also help engage your kids with the true spirit of Christmas.

The way you display the calendar can be as simple as some red and/or green paper, strung up with pegs and the activity written on the back (as picture illustrates below).

Christmas countdown calendar - as simple as paper, string, and pegs.
Christmas countdown calendar - as simple as paper, string, and pegs. 

You will need to be fairly flexible with your activities as social engagements seem to pop up at a moments notice during December. Look at your prior social activities such as school Christmas parties, or plays, dinner with friends, and local Christmas carols and set those up as that day's activity. Here are some extra ideas to help you fill out the rest of the days during December.

1. Decorate the tree
2. Decorate the front of house - see our Christmas Lights guide
3. Write letters to Santa Claus
4. Make Christmas biscuits/cookies and surprise a neighbor or two with a plate - recipe here
5. Write letters and cards to relatives you won't see at Christmas
6. Watch a Christmas movie - see our Christmas Movie list here
7. Visit Santa Claus at the shopping centre
8. Take a drive to see the Christmas lights in your local area
9. Clean out old toys and donate to charity
10. Make a gift for kids teachers
11. Make a gingerbread house
12. Prepare some reindeer food for Christmas Eve
13. Watch a Christmas special on television
14. Book night - here is our list of the best festive books
15. Holiday lunch day - make a packed lunch special with a Christmas theme or a treat
16. New toothbrushes for the whole family - it’s good to get a few health focused gifts into the month
17. Put on a Christmas play or puppet show
18. Write a Christmas wish list - keep the writing space and time allotted brief. And no edits! Ask your children, and yourself, to include a few goals as wishes for the coming year. For example, learn how to ride bike without training wheels, see relatives more frequently, etc.
19. Random act of kindness - it could be anything from taking a loaf of banana bread to school for the teachers' lounge or wheeling in your neighbour's bins.
20.Hang mistletoe and use it

More ideas here on the forums

If you have anymore ideas to add, please use the comments below.