Christmas Countdown: The Book of Luke
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was our countdown calendar. I can still picture it….a handsewn felt banner, made by my great-grandma, covered in ribbons.
Each year, my parents would tie chocolate coins and other delicious delicacies to the assigned ribbon. The daily morning excitement only lasted as long as it took me to unwrap each chocolate and chew, but it added so much magic December 1st through 25th. It was a tradition I wanted to keep going once I had children of my own.
A few years ago, I decided to elevate the Christmas countdown game. I ordered 25 mini wooden craft boxes, white-washed them, and added gold foil numbers. The benefit of these boxes is that they are big enough to accommodate treats like Lindor Truffles and Ferrero Rocher’s…two of my favorites that aren’t easily tied to little ribbons. Plus, the boxes make for cute décor and can be arranged differently every year.
The evolution of “what’s inside the countdown box” has been amusing, to say the least. The first year went exactly as planned. Truffles and hazelnut delights! But then, my peanut allergy babe came along and the selection became more challenging. Fortunately, Hershey kisses came to the rescue with lots of safe flavors to choose from.
Then, I got sick and started my paleo journey. If you want to learn more about my story, check out the Messy Masterpiece Bio page. Eventually, it became harder for me to watch my kids get sugar high on chocolate every morning before school. So last year, I set out on a tougher mission. “What can I put inside the box that’s NOT candy, but doesn’t cost a fortune?”
The Evolution Continues
I eventually found my answer on Pinterest (where else? Lol!). I stumbled into countdown calendars that were activity based. There were dozens of ideas to choose from. Everything from “drive around and look at Christmas lights” to “watch a Christmas movie”. Seemed like a great idea! Or at least until December 1st…
If you’re a parent, then you probably understand that sometimes the idea of an activity with your kids is better than the reality. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
Picture this. It’s December 1st and your kids are super excited to start the countdown calendar. They race down the stairs to see which fun activity awaits them in the first box. You have a super busy day ahead (the kind where you’re tired before you even begin) and are hoping for a low key task. You then hear your kids jumping up and down excitedly and yelling “we get to build gingerbread houses today!” Your heart sinks because now you either have to squeeze “go to the grocery store” into your already overloaded day, or, not fulfill your promise of Christmas magic. What was meant to be fun, quickly turns a lose-lose situation.
After 25 days of exhausting chaos, I decided next year will be different. So I set out to find a peanut free, sugar free, exhaustion free, realistic Christmas countdown idea. That’s when I stumbled on the idea of using the book of Luke.
Keeping Christ In Christmas
If you’re unfamiliar with the books of the Bible, here’s a mini crash course. The Bible’s 66 books are divided into two parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament is filled with history, Jewish law, and the promise of a Savior. The first four books of New Testament are the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books are actually four different accounts of the same story…the story of Jesus’s life.
The remaining books of the New Testament follow the spread of Christianity, describe the expectations of life as Christian, and the event of Jesus’ second coming. In total, the Bible is the story of redemption. But, “why is this information significant when talking about a Christmas countdown calendar?” I’m happy to explain.
My family is on a journey “back to the basics.” This means shedding modern day expectations, pressures from society, and rediscovering values and skills that have been lost over the decades. One way my family is doing that this holiday season, is by dropping the idea that Christmas is all about gifts and decorations and remembering the reason for the season is Jesus. What better way to do that than by reading the story of His life?
24 Chapters In 24 Days
Out of the four gospels, Luke is the best choice because of it’s perfectly numbered amount of chapters. The book of Luke contains 24 chapters, one for each day leading up to Christmas!
The idea behind this calendar is simple. Each day, read one chapter of Luke and then answer the question at the bottom of the card. This doesn’t take very long and can be incorporated in to almost any part of the day.
Read it as a family during dinner. Have one of the older kids read it in the car on the way to school. Read it at bedtime. If you have time to scroll through social media, you have time to read a chapter of Luke. The best part is that this activity is easy and great for both children AND adults!
Simply download and print the activity at the bottom of this post. Cut out each rectangle and then choose how you want to display it. I am going to tuck them inside of my countdown boxes, but here are some other ideas you can try…
- Use mini clothespins and pin the cards onto string, ribbon, or twine to make a decorative banner.
- Glue magnets, or use magnet tape, on the back of each card to display on your refrigerator.
- Use a hole punch and some ribbon to make turn the cards into ornaments for your tree.
- Add them to your Elf on the Shelf activities.
- Instead of cutting them out, tape the 3 sheets of paper together and cross each day off as you go.
- Hole punch each card and put them on a keychain or binder ring for an on-the-go option.
There are endless more ways to turn this printable into your family’s perfect countdown calendar. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
The Book of Luke Christmas Countdown Calendar is intended to be used by everyone.
-Whether you’re a crafting queen or a project novice, YOU CAN DO THIS!
-It doesn’t matter if you’re on the go 24/7 or have ample time on your hands, YOU CAN DO THIS!
-Are you a seasoned Christian or a new believer? Doesn’t matter…YOU CAN DO THIS?
-Five kids, one kid, or no kids? YOU CAN STILL DO THIS!
The point of this activity is to bring daily magic into the Christmas season while keeping our focus where it should be. You might be surprised at the level of discussion, learning, and relationships you foster along the way!