Last year I came across this great idea for a Christmas Countdown from Chica and Jo and shared it in a Too Cute Not To Toot
Here is what mine looks like :-) In the blog link above you will find the printable 24 cards with the story on them. From there, I used my Cricut and cut out the numbers (but you could also use stickers or just markers) and, because I want to use this for years to come, I laminated all of the cards.
Lets be honest, buying 2 (and sometimes 3) little gifts can be expensive even at the dollar store. Instead of doing fancy things each day, I picked one day each week for a bigger item. Then I looked for things that were in bags (candy, army men, play dough) that I could put on multiple days (I.e. they get a little package with candy once a week, some army guys once a week, and a small tub of play dough once a week). In the weeks to come, I'll be sharing what they opened each day. For wrapping? I just used tissue or crepe paper, depending on the item! It's cheap and easy to use!
I could not find that grinch doll anywhere (I should have bought it last year when I first looked at this idea!). For now, I made this stick puppet and will keep an eye out for a small Grinch Doll because I think it is much cuter to have that guy stuffed in the pocket!