This 12 Days of Christmas countdown calendar is inspired by Scandinavian style Advent calendars. It’s the perfect, easy way to count down the days until Christmas and make each day special.
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Additionally, I was provided complimentary products from Oriental Trading.
Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes it becomes the most stressful. I’ve been simplifying our family traditions and have found an idea that’s fun and easy to do each day without too much planning.
Instead of a 24-day countdown or a full 31 days of doing-all-the-things, we celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas.
Each day we do a small and simple activity as a family. In the past, that’s included things like going for a walk, baking cookies, or watching a favorite holiday movie.
This year I decided to make it even simpler by making a Christmas countdown calendar inspired by Scandinavian Yule calendars.
Christmas countdown calendar
I put together a simple DIY project with supplies from the Oriental Trading Christmas craft department.
Each envelope has a simple card inside with a conversation starter or a simple activity that requires no prep. I also added some chocolate coins. Some Scandinavian families write jokes, quotes, poems, or short “thought of the day” type messages.
How to make a countdown calendar
- unfinished wood slat sign, 10-3/4-inches by 15-inches
- red paint (I have this mixed set)
- 1-inch sponge brush
- natural cord, about 2 yards
- hot glue gun
- 12 kraft paper bags, 2-1/2-inch by 4-inch
- red and white washi tape
- 12 mini clothespins
- printable countdown calendar cards – Download at the end of this post
- chocolate coins or other candy (optional)
Start by painting the slat sign red. I set mine up on top of the washi tape so that it didn’t touch the newspaper, then painted two coats on the front and the edges. No need to paint the back. Let it dry completely, about an hour.
Cut the cord into four pieces measuring 15-inches long. Using the hot glue gun, attach the cord on each end to the back of the sign. I evenly spaced the cord hanging horizontally and glued it so that there was just a bit of slack.
Cut out the countdown cards. You can write anything you like on them. I like to do a Christmas-themed question of the day.
- What’s your favorite holiday movie?
- What’s your favorite Christmas song?
- If you could travel anywhere in the winter, where would you go?
- What is your favorite memory from this year?
Put a card and some candy in each envelope and fold it closed. Place a piece of washi tape on the seam.
Using the mini clothespins, attach each envelope to the cord.
I just leaned my countdown calendar against the wall on top of a shelf, but it has fixtures on the back to hang on the wall.
Countdown calendar printable
The tags I used in my Christmas countdown calendar print on 8.5×11-inch paper. Each page has 12 unique cards; each one is outlined so you can cut it out with scissors or a paper trimmer.
You may need to allow popups or give permission to download. See Printables Troubleshooting and FAQ for help. If you want to save this for later, please pin an image from this blog post instead of saving the direct link to the PDF.
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