Not to alarm any of you, but there are only 50 days until Christmas 2021! The holiday countdown(s) has begun!
So that also means there are only:
– 20 days until Thanksgiving
– 21 days until Black Friday
– 24 days until Hanukkah
– 52 days until Kwanzaa
– 57 days until New Year’s Eve!
We have been using these cool Countdown Clocks for Christmas for years. Every Christmas morning it goes off at 6 AM, then it immediately gets reset for 364 days and counting until next Christmas. It is a little disappointing to see over 300 days but the clock gets left on the living room bookshelf and forgotten for months at a time. With the exception of a few random glances over the past several months, it had recently come back into play when it hit the T minus 90-day mark. Now it gets almost daily attention as it ticks closer and closer… Did I mention there are only 50 days left until Christmas?!
These countdown clocks only run about $12 or so, and they come in a variety of different themes, such as wedding countdown, retirement, vacation, etc. But the front face pops off pretty easily and the themed paper border can be flipped over or replaced with any design you can come up with (apparently we lost our border and need to make a new one 🙂 ).
Another pre-holiday family tradition we have been doing since my children were small is a Christmas countdown paper chain. We slice up red and green construction paper into 2-inch strips and date them backward from December 25th. Then divide the strips between the kids and decorate them. We staple them together in a chain and hang them in the living room. Each day, whoever’s link is next gets removed as the chain gets smaller and smaller, the closer it gets to Christmas.
As the children got older, you’d think they would start to get bored with this, but quite the opposite. We used to start this chain around December 1st. Then it started on Thanksgiving, then before Thanksgiving… One year, the massive chain was started on November 1st, our longest one yet. This year my college-aged kids insist that we have to wait until they are home on Thanksgiving break before we start the chain. We are finally going back to a more reasonable holiday countdown chain length.
We also seem to have our Christmas Tree up earlier and earlier each year. It use to be a beginning of December thing. Then the day after Thanksgiving, and then it crept to a few days before Thanksgiving… My husband and kids would wait until I got in the shower some random morning, then quickly assemble and light the artificial tree in the living room. Then they would sit in the room ignoring it and act like “What tree?” when I came downstairs. There was actually an instance when I walked past it and didn’t notice immediately, so they think they are funny.
This year, my husband talked me into having a “Halloween” tree, since we happen to own a lot of Horrornaments – Halloween/Christmas-themed ornaments. We have scary jack-o-lanterns, a bunch of zombies, undead gingerbread cookies, a vampire bat, various skulls, and many others. This is definitely the earliest we’ve ever had our tree up. But since we can change the LED light colors with an app on my phone, we had green and purple halloweeny colors in October. I plan to have orange and red fall-themed colored lights for a bit. Then a blue and white Hannukah tree, and then, finally we’ll transition to Christmas. 😉
All that being said, don’t panic if you aren’t quite ready for the holiday season! You can make the best of the next few weeks by studying one of our holiday-themed unit studies! We have a Thanksgiving Unit Study that is perfect for learning the history behind the holiday.
Then we have a Jan Brett Christmas unit, which is a gentle and relaxing lead-up to Christmas, perfect for your little ones! It even comes with a fun holiday countdown chain your children can decorate and use to count down their days until Christmas morning! We also have a Winter Holidays Around the World unit, which explores a variety of holidays, from Christmas and Hanukkah to Chinese New Year and Kwanzaa. All of these units are suitable for elementary-age students (with the Jan Brett unit being geared to the youngest learners). They are a steal at just $7.95 each!
And of course, our annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale weeks will start on November 22. It’s one of our biggest sales of the year, so you won’t want to miss it!
So do any of you guys have any early holiday traditions? Does anyone else have their tree up? Let us know in the comments!
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Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full-year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 18 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also make incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books, and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.