Christmas Book Advent: Day 1 {Santa Beard Countdown}

Welcome to Day 1 of our Book & Activity Advent!  It took me all day long to get this little advent rolling, but we made it!!  Our first book ended up being Little Man's bedtime story.  He loved it so much that he insisted on reading it twice and wanted to take it to bed with him.  Success!
Here Comes Santa Claus is a song book--Little Man's favorite!  The words are the lyrics to the popular song "Here Comes Santa Claus", and the illustrations are gorgeous!  I thought this would be a good way to introduce Santa to Little Man.  Even though my singing voice was atrocious, he must have loved it because he demanded an encore!
What better way to begin our book advent than with a little countdown made just for Little Man?!  This activity is something I did each year with my first grade students.  I taught year-round school, and we were off track during the month of December.  This activity was something they completed at home with their families to anticipate Christmas.
Say hello to a less-hairy Santa.  But don't worry, he won't be beardless for long because every day during the month of December, we will be adding a cotton ball to his face to form a fluffy, white beard!
For this project:
* I created this little poem in Photoshop using this Echo Park Paper kit.
* I found a cute Santa face here at Vector Jungle.  I just cut off the beard when I printed it out.
* I mounted all of it on a couple of pieces of green cardstock joined with coordinating scrapbook paper.
* Santa is looking jolly on our refrigerator.
If you are having trouble printing the Santa, here are some tips:  Download the entire Christmas clip art pack.  In photo editing software, clip just the Santa face. Then insert into a Microsoft Word document.  Adjust size as needed and print!  I hope this helps!
Little Man loved putting the first cotton ball on Santa's beard tonight with his Daddy.  I have a feeling he will grow to love this even more as the days go on.  Little Man loves his routines!  We have plenty of advents around this house... lots of way to look forward to Christmas!
Come back later for a book and activity for Day 2!
Thanks for reading!
Edited to add:
Of course I would LOVE to share this Santa and the poem with you.  However, the Santa graphic is under copyright at Vector Jungle, and the digital papers that I used for the poem are copyrighted by Echo Park Paper.  I have received several comments from readers creating their own downloads for this activity.  Please be sure you are following the appropriate terms of usage!  We all need to be following copyright laws.  This is why I directed you to the link of the Santa clip rather than offering it as a printable.  Thanks for understanding!
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  1. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} says

    That is the cutest advent for little kids! I've held back making a traditional because I figure my son won't really understand it. But he would have TOO much fun with this!! I may steal it… 🙂

  2. Such a cute advent! I love it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That is so cute! I have to admit my attempts at following something like that never go well.

  4. Pinkys Learning World says

    I love this!!!! And I think my daughter will, too! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says


  6. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says


  7. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says


  8. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says


  9. Love the cotton ball beard idea! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Tara @ Tara Being Tara says

    Oh my gosh – the Santa beard is the cutest Advent calendar idea I have ever seen!!!

  11. Jenny @ Embellishing Life says

    I love this!

  12. The Herrigs says

    Such great ideas…already made my santa and picked out my xmas books to wrap…thanks:)

  13. Oh my goodness .. I love this idea!! My kids would freak out over something like this!!!

  14. CUTE! I love this! We are definatly going to be doing this!!!

  15. Hey I am really wanting to do this .. but I am wondering how you get the cotton balls to stick.. did you use glue or tape?

  16. What font did you use for the poem? I love it and I would love to use it all the time!!!

  17. The font I used is Century Gothic. It's one of my fav's… simple and sweet!

  18. Houseful of Handmade says

    Oh, and not to mention this, It probably won't get done today, but hopefully I can have it ready by Monday!


  19. Jackie Koll says

    As always, I love your ideas. I'm not starting the full advent stuff this year but did make a Santa Beard countdown 🙂 We put our first two cotton balls on tonight – one for each of my boys 🙂 Thanks for giving such wonderful ideas to those of us that are less creative – it makes my children's lives so much more exciting 🙂

  20. Jenglamgirl says

    SHUT UP… THIS IS THE CUTEST IDEA EV-AH! My daughter brought home a colored santa face with numbers on his beard and you add a cotton ball each day… same concept, but yours with the poem is precious. Love it, thanks for linking. Jen

  21. Christianne @ Little Page Turners says

    Very sweet idea. 🙂

  22. You are seriously so darling. I have seen this before…but of course yours is cuter then any of the ones I have seen. Love it and with the book.

  23. I love this idea and think we're going to make it next week. How did you print Santa so he would be large enough?

  24. This is absolutely adorable and our little 2 yr. old grandson would just love it! Thank you for sharing a wonderful idea.

  25. Please help! I love this idea, downloaded the icons but can’t figure out how to print out just the Santa in a big size…..I’m so not computer savvy!!

  26. Meagan Darrow says

    Me too! I need help figuring out how to print Santa big! Thanks!

  27. Julie Godfrey says

    Absolutely love your blog and all our ideas! What a great mom you are! Your ideas are fantastic! Julie (the letter’s mom)

  28. Hi Alison. I saw your santa beard making its way around Pinterest. I loved it so much and I recreated the printables for myself and posted a blog about it, with a link back to your blog. Check out my site to see the blog post 🙂 Thanks for sharing this great idea and the poem! 🙂

  29. Thank you for the great idea. So cute!
    I found a pattern that is larger & prints very clear. It has the numbers for the days on the beard if anyone wants to do it that way. If not, you can cut off the beard & it’s your same pattern.
    Heres’ the pattern:

    • jeni25,
      Thank you for the link to the pattern, however it seems unaccessable!

      • Hi Rosie. There is no link to download this…. Just a link to the page where I downloaded the free Santa graphic. I am just providing the due credit to the person who created the original Santa image 🙂 hope you enjoy it!

  30. paola schreiner says

    I made one tonight and i really like how it came out.I drew the santa in pieces and cut it out in pieces and just put it together. Thank you so much for sharing.

  31. Love this idea. I’m pinning it so I’ll remember to do it! Thanks for sharing.
    Christa recently posted..A New Bench (almost)My Profile

  32. I blog over at and I just wanted to let you know that today I posted a round up of Christmas Countdowns. I featured this project in the round up. Please let me know if you are not ok with that and I will remove it from the post! Thanks!
    Alese recently posted..Chocolate Trifle CakeMy Profile

  33. Love this! Thanks for the cute idea and poem. I used my own Santa, but stole your wording…I hope that is okay!?!? Made a couple of these for my kids and the neighbor kids!! I also posted on flickr – but of course – I gave you credit! 😉

  34. I just completed this project this morning. I got all the supplies at Dollar Tree: candle jar instead of apothecary jar, matchboxes, ribbon, and wrapping paper to wrap the matchboxes. I will use your suggested “gifts”. This is our first advent calendar ever, even for me and my husband, so we are thrilled that we will all count down together. Thanks for the craft!


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