white or cream cardstock
ink pad for distressing
star stickers (like for reward charts)
jute or twine
slips of papers for family activities
Print numbers 1-24 in various fonts in a size that will fit your circle punch. Ink the edges of each number. I punched a ton of scallops to be a background to my numbers. You could also make these square if you don't have a scallop. Glue numbers to patterned papers. Glue patterned paper to coin envelope. Embellish with stars if you want. Clip to jute with clothespins.
Then sit down with a December calendar and your family, and decide what traditions and activities you want to do on certain days leading up to Christmas. Incorporate long time traditions with some new ideas too. Google can help. Here's a tip if you're trying to simplify - every few days put "read a Christmas book" or "have a piece of candy" in there. It will be easy and inexpensive. That's me, cheap and easy (kidding!).
Some shopping notes.
This is the very best deal I could find on the little envelopes. Coin envelopes on Amazon.
Now, I know you probably don't need 500. Remember, I was mass producing. Other little sets of kraft envelopes or glassine envelopes from Michaels or Hobby Lobby would be adorable.
The cheapest mini clothespins come in a 50 pack which is $2 at my Walmart.
Teaming up with a friend definitely works on a project like this one! And hey, if all else fails, grab little envelopes and a Sharpie. What matters are the family memories that result from this. Not the presentation.
I think this would be stellar across a mantle, but alas, I have none.
Doors work too.