This idea solves two common frustrations for little ones during the holiday season. The "Count Down Tree", similar to an advent calendar, helps young children grasp the idea of waiting for Christmas, as well as allowing them to decorate their very own tree.
Collect, purchase, or make 25 little boxes. Decorate the boxes as you wish and label each with a numbered tag, from 1 to 25. In each box, with the exception of #25, place a small ornament. Box #25 should contain the ornament intended for placement at the top of the tree - a star, angel or other special decoration.
On December 1, set up a small table-top tree within reach of the children. (If using a fresh-cut tree, remember to use a stand that allows the tree plenty of water to drink and replenish the water daily.) On each day, have the children open the box with number corresponding to the date and hang the ornament on the tree. On Christmas, morning, the final box is opened and the ornament is placed at the top of the children's tree.