*Originally posted on my personal blog, November 2011*
We needed a creative craft for kids club and my mom and I came up with this. Well, she came up with the idea and I made it work. We’re a good team that way. I think it’s really cute, so I wanted to share in case anyone else wanted to try it.
First, you need a picture of a present and a nativity. You can download the images I made here and here or make your own. Print them off onto card stock. Make sure that the nativity is small enough to be completely covered by the gift box. Once they are printed, cut them out.
You will need a piece of construction paper that is slightly bigger than your gift box and twenty six strips of paper (to make into a paper chain). I used green for my background paper, since the gift is red, and red and green strips.
Glue the nativity image to the background paper, slightly closer to the bottom than the top. Make a fold about 3/4 of an inch from the top of the present so that it can easily be lifted to see under it. Put glue on the top edge of the gift and glue it down so that the gift completely covers the nativity. Using an x-acto knife, cut a slit toward the bottom of the gift, through both the gift and the background paper. Be sure to put something under your paper so you don’t gouge your table with the knife.
Now, make a paper chain with the paper strips. The top strip on your chain should be threaded through the slit that you cut in the gift and background to hold the gift shut. Make sure you only use twenty five of the strips. Use the last one to make a loop on the back to hang the countdown up. I forgot to take a picture of how I made the loop, but I managed to find one online.
You now have a finished Christmas countdown. Each day, tear off one loop from the bottom of your chain. On Christmas, you will tear off the last loop, allowing the gift to be opened. The gift then reveals the true gift of Christmas–Jesus. Isaiah quite enjoyed helping with this craft and will be thrilled to discover the picture inside.