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12 Days to Christmas: Help Animals With This Christmas Countdown Calendar

During the season of giving and compassion, it’s important that we teach our kids to be kind—not just to other humans but to animals, too! That’s why this animal-friendly “Countdown to Christmas” calendar is perfect to help get the whole family active for animals.

While you may already have a vegan advent calendar filled with treats, sayings, or trinkets, this calendar is focused on showing kindness to all. So use it in addition to or in lieu of a traditional advent calendar and count down to Christmas compassionately by encouraging the whole family to act selflessly and help animals.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get crafty!


  • Construction paper in red, green, blue, and yellow
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue stick
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil (optional)
  • Pen or fine black marker


  1. Draw the outline of a tree, and draw 12 circles on it.
  2. Cut out your tree and the 12 circles.
  3. Glue your tree to the red (or blue) piece of paper.
  4. Write each day’s activity on the paper that you just glued your tree onto—where the tree has openings:
  5. Depending on which paper you’ve already used (red or blue), use the remaining one to cut out 11 circles to cover the openings on the tree. (Make sure these circles are bigger than the openings on the tree so that each one can be properly covered.)
  6. Draw and cut out a yellow star big enough to cover the top circle.
  7. Write a number (2 through 12) on each circle, and write a “1” on the star.
  8. Either glue or tape the top part of each circle and the star to the tree to hide the writing for each day, making a flap.
  9. Decorate your tree using colored markers or crayons! (You can even get your kids to help with this part, since each day’s surprise is now covered.)
  10. Hang the calendar on your fridge, over your fireplace, in your kiddo’s room, or wherever makes the most sense for your family.


Already have a calendar that you want to reuse? Or maybe you saw a super-cute DIY one that you just have to try? No problem! Change the look and keep the message—and pick and choose what activity you do on what day, depending on your family’s availability and schedule.

For Kids