From making a Wishlist, writing letters to Santa, watching Christmas movie marathons, reading books, celebrating Advent and everything in between, certainly the anticipation of December 25 is a magical time for kids to make merry memories they will cherish for a lifetime! With this in mind, we’re sharing our TOP 5 ways for kids to have fun during the countdown to Christmas!
But First … A Bit Of History On The Countdown To Christmas
The practice of counting down to Christmas is credited to some time in the 1800s, where in earliest days, German Protestants would mark the days with chalk lines on the walls or doors (KIDS, DON’T DO THIS AT HOME!😜) Thereafter, a line was to be erased with each passing day.
Conversely, placing straw in the nativity crib was yet another Christmas countdown custom.
In contrast, others chose to burn a marked Advent Taper Candle each day. As with many traditions, over time the countdown to Christmas evolved.
Gerhard Lang Advent Calendars
While one of the first Advent calendars made was actually a clock, it is a man by the name of Gerhard Lang (1881-1974) who is recognized for publishing the first actual calendar to be printed in 1908. The calendars had small, colorful pictures that could be applied as each day passed. Eventually the Advent Calendar evolved to what we largely know today – the inclusion of little windows to be opened daily, revealing a different picture while others included the addition of short Bible verses.
Lang is also credited for introducing the chocolate Advent Calendar around 1926 which certainly made the countdown to Christmas all the more enticing for children! (Ahem. You caught me. I’m raising my hand too!🙋) No doubt, this was inspired by a childhood memory of his. 
Sadly, Lang’s business closed shortly before the outbreak of war, where subsequently, cardboard was rationed with a Nazi ban on the printing of calendars with images .
Richard Sellmar Advent Calendars
After WWII, “Richard Sellmer of Stuttgart almost miraculously (considering the paper shortages) obtained a permit from US officials to begin printing and selling them again.” Eventually the Advent calendars popularity grew, being sold at drugstores all over the United States. And interestingly, Richard Sellmer’s Advent calendars continue to remain a popular offering of Bronner’s, even today!
But really it comes as no surprise. Richard Sellmer remains committed to the quality they have been known for for over 75 years; designing and manufacturing each calendar with great care and attention to detail. The scenes revealed through each window, in alignment with their company philosophy, “must match the motif on the front of the calendar,” says Annette Sellmer.
While Advent calendars were especially popular in the late 1950s-1960s, thanks in part to a photo of President Eisenhower’s grandkids, they are not just for the vintage at heart.
Unquestionably, we’re seeing Advent Calendars evolve to include new themes and surprises in the countdown to Christmas. (Think some of your favorite licensed brands, puzzles, your favorite beverages, etc.!) As a result, they are growing with ever-increasing popularity once again! And to that end, we present our Top 5 Christmas Countdown Advent Calendars for kids!
TOP 5 WAYS FOR KIDS TO COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS!
1. Countdown To Christmas With A Chocolate Advent Calendar
A popular choice for kids … and adults alike – CHOCOLATE ADVENT CALENDARS! Certainly they have stood the test of time.
Let’s just say I fall somewhere in between😜, but these delicious countdowns are among the highlights of my own childhood memories! Despite my most valiant efforts, I was never able to persuade my Mom to let me “speed up” the countdown to Christmas with a few extra pieces of chocolate. Furthermore, I couldn’t convince my little brother that sharing his would put him on Santa’s REALLY nice list either!😂 Therefore, the only logical solution is to buy a few of your favorites so you may enjoy Day 1 … and Day1 and Day 1 and Day 1, of course!
2. Storybook Advent Calendars
Regardless of whether you choose Nickolodeon’s™ Advent Calendar Storybook Collection (1251892) or The Story Of Christmas storybook collection (1253981) one of the greatest aspects of countdowns to Christmas is that aside from the excitement your kids will have in opening a new story each day, it gives you a few minutes to snuggle up with them while reading them their newest book!
Nickolodeon’s™ Advent Calendar Storybook Collection is a countdown to Christmas with all their favorite Nickolodeon™ characters from their favorite shows:
- Paw Patrol™
- SpongeBob SquarePants™
- Dora The Explorer™
- Blue’s Clues & You™
- Rusty Rivets™
- Butterbean’s Café™
- Nella The Princess Knight™
- Blaze And the Monster Machines™
- Shimmer And Shine™
- Sunny Day™
- Team Umizoomi™
- Bubble Guppies™
Inside are 24 mini storybooks that are sure to make counting down Christmas with friends more fa-la-la-la-fun.
In contrast, our Story Of Christmas storybook collection captures the CHRISTmas story in twenty-four, four-page, full-color board books that are each threaded with a gold cord so the kids can hang them on the tree after story time.
3. Activity Calendars Make Memories On The Countdown To Christmas
While a countdown to Christmas is certainly exciting on its own, it’s undeniably even MORE fun when there is a new activity each day! Bronner’s offers a number of Christmas countdowns that fit the bill. But particularly delightful is our MERRY MEMORIES ACTIVITY BOX (1254063), new in 2022! Indeed, the Merry Memories Christmas countdown activity box features activities and ideas that will usher in the holiday season … TOGETHER!
Other variants of activity-themed Advent calendars for the artistic include a color-by-number Christmas Advent. And yet another the kids are sure to love is our Christmas Stickers Advent Calendars!
We haven’t forgotten about your tiny tots! Undoubtedly, they are sure to de-LIGHT in adding a bright red magnetic pom-pom to this reindeer’s nose with each passing day on the countdown to Christmas. Marked as “Sleeps Until Christmas“, we wouldn’t be surprised if it adds a merry spin to their bedtime routines as they hurry fast asleep in anticipation. (But naps don’t count.)
Featured: Reindeer Countdown Cloth Advent Calendar With Magnetic Pom-Poms (1271302)
4. Wooden Advent Boxes Hide 24 Days Of Christmas Fun
Wooden Advent boxes are a bit more of an investment than traditional paper calendars. Whether it is because they are fully customizable for any age or the fact that they are reusable, they are garnering more popularity each year!
Beautifully crafted of wood, our delightful selection of Advent Calendar boxes feature 24 numbered doors perfect for hiding a surprise each day in December leading up to Christmas.
Undeniably, they are sure to make a special family heirloom as your children pass down the special tradition.
Ideas For Advent Box Surprises:
- Candies or chocolates
- Small toys or plushies
- Costume Jewelry
- Hot Wheels® Metal Die-Cast Cars
- Art Supplies
For the adults, lottery tickets, gift cards and small practical gifts also make great options! Indeed, we should also mention that our DIY Advent Calendar Christmas Countdown Box Halloween Costume will really put friends in “stitches” at your next Ugly Sweater Christmas party!
5. Countdown To Christmas With … A Christmas Countdown!
The Grinch That Stole Christmas is now counting down to the whole holiday WHO fair! But you might just have to keep your eye on the little ones who might want to “steal” these colorful, numbered blocks for their toybox! Check out our Wooden Grinch Countdown Advent Calendar (1270842).
To be fair, we’ve got countdowns for the adults too.