Christmas Countdown Envelopes! December 1st is just around the corner and that little bastard elf should be arriving any day now. We actually started our Christmas decorating a few weeks ago and my little one asks me every single day, if it is Christmas, and if it is time to open presents. I hide my inner sigh and sparkle out my standard response “Christmas is a season babe, it has a lot of days and on the last day we open the presents.”
I know I’m not going to make it to December 25th without reinforcements. Lucky for me, I have my handy-dandy Christmas Envelope Countdown system. I didn’t invent it, in fact when my friend Vanessa introduced me to it years ago I cursed her. But it actually helps, and my oldest especially looks forward to it every year. The envelopes work as a visual marker, counting to day 25 and each one holds a Christmas activity, message, or small gift. Like most families, the season becomes completely jam packed with holiday activities. If I’m being honest, 70% of the crap I put in the envelopes is stuff we would have done anyway. The envelopes have become both an organizational tool for me and a daily treat for the kids. You certainly don’t have to do 25 days worth, especially if you have a late start. The first few years I did about 10 days worth.
Over the years people have asked me “how the hell, do you plan out and stick to 25 days?” The answer. . . I don’t! On day one I hang the 25 envelopes but I typically only stuff 2-3 days at a time. Every morning my kiddos get to fight over who gets to open the daily envelope. It’s magical. Well, it is once the hair pulling is over.
Where can I buy them?
Save yourself a trip and let Amazon deliver, get your red envelopes here, free shipping with Amazon Prime.
What do I put in them?
Preparations are part of the joy of the Christmas season, and you can bet I sucker my animals into helping as part of their daily Christmas activities. The activities I include in my envelopes range from simple presents, good deeds, preparations, reflection and a little scripture. Here is some of the stuff I will choose from over the next month:
- Christmas mani/pedis
- Friends party/sleepover
- Trim the tree
- Decorate gingerbread house
- Pajama & gift wrapping day
- Knock and roll – surprise delivery of homemade treats to friends
- Ice skating and snow play(behind the ice rink)
- Christmas pajamas and movie night
- Holiday lights scavenger hunt
- What’s in the bag game (sealed paper bags with random Christmas items disguised inside)
- Christmas charades
- Family game night
- Decorate cookies
- Homeless feeding
- Angel tree gift buying
- Lists of gratitude, making the time to acknowledge all we are thankful for
- Caroling at nursing home with Girl Scouts
- Go on a trash walk and clean up neighborhood or park
- Sleepover under the Christmas tree
- Mail Santa’s letter at Macy’s
- Elf picnic
- Make ornament for tree
- Make reindeer food (oats and glitter)
- Visit Bethlehem
- Local city parade
- Cut out and hang paper snowflakes
- Christmas style minute to win it games
- Do something kind for each person in your house today
- *Flour/Cornstarch fight
- Small gifts; new cup, piece of chocolate, stuffed animal, stickers
I know you guys have some great annual traditions! Share your favorites in the comments!
Reason for the season!
Including a small piece of scripture helps bring the kids back down to earth. I’ve used Max’ Lucado’s Kids Devotional and Catholic Children’s Bible by selecting a simple reading with each envelope. Today I found a nice scripture reference sheet over at The36thavenue.com. She also has some great family traditions I will be adding in. Especially the flour fight- – a warm weather alternative to snow balls, followed of course by a hose shower. *UPDATE* Opt for cornstarch and/or use a swim cap for kids with long hair. I can’t stress enough the disaster it is to get wet flour out of hair!!
Do it for a month, a week or whatever you think! I hope Christmas Countdown Envelopes system will help make your holiday season a little saner! Now that you have spent all this time mentally preparing happy family Pinteresty crap for your kiddos- – take a moment for yourself to have a laugh and enjoy my Quick & Funny’s.
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