I love everything about Christmas! The traditions, the music, the parties, the food, the symbolism, gift giving, Santa, decorations–you name it! I think these traditions can create wonderful family memories! Every year each member in our family gets to choose a new Christmas tree ornament. My husband’s family started this when he was just a boy. When he and I got married, his mom gave him a box of all his Christmas ornaments from years past–even now he loves to reminisce when he pulls out his ornaments each year.
Amidst all these Christmas traditions we try and set aside a few moments each day to specifically focus on Christ’s birth and the true meaning of Christmas. I have been wanting to create some sort of Christmas countdown to help me accomplish this goal. This year I finally came up with a cute idea. Of course, I only consider myself a creative person inasmuch as I can find great ideas from other people online and then morph them into the idea in my head. Well, this is exactly what I did this year.
First, I found some adorable 12 days of Christmas tags on Today’s Mama blog. You could use these tags for a million different gift-giving ideas, but I didn’t want to give tangible gifts, I wanted to do a scripture or a spiritual thought so I continued my search. My next stop was lds.org where I found a perfect article from The New Era that had a scripture and little activity for each of the 12 days of Christmas, with just the right theme I had in mind: “You can prepare for Christmas now by remembering how others prepared for Him then.” Once I found these two resources online my creativity kicked in and I got to work and created a file folder full of tags and scriptures for each of the 12 Days of Christmas! This is a fun, cute way to spend a few minutes each night preparing for Christmas, and would also be a great gift idea! So many variations possible!
“Many prophets in the Bible and Book of Mormon foretold Jesus Christ’s birth and ministry hundreds of years before the actual event. For the 12 days before Christmas, this advent calendar will serve as a reference to scriptures about the birth and life of the Savior and activities you can do to be more Christlike.” The New Era, December 2008
Here’s what I did:
1. Find a file folder (there are tons of cute decorative ones but a plain manila one works just as well).
2. Find some coin envelopes; size #3 (2 1/2 x 4 1/4) fits these tags just perfectly. I found some at Office Max. I used glue dots to adhere the envelopes to my file folder and also chose to cut off the top flap.
3. Download and color print the 12 Days of Christmas tags from Today’s Mama blog, laminate and cut out.
4. Print the daily scriptures (the link here is a print friendly document, but this comes straight from lds.org). Fold and tape them to the back of each tag. These then slide into each coin envelope. (The 2 intro paragraphs of this document are what I glued in between the rows of envelopes)
5. Embellish with scraps of ribbon (I stapled red grosgrain ribbon onto each tag to create a little handle), number stickers, decorative paper etc. Oh, and at the bottom of the page of tags it says 12 Days of Christmas gift tags…well I just cut out the “12 Days of Christmas” part and used that for my file folder label!
6. Start your countdown on December 13th!
May this activity help lead you and your family to Christ this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!