While I absolutely enjoy our Elf on the Shelf and think it is so much fun, my favorite tradition I'm starting with Hattie this year is her Advent calendar focused on the reason for our favorite season!
While Advent starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving, like most, her Advent calendar has 25 slots, so we started today.
For me, Advent is a special time of intention, and I specifically do this Advent Study (which I love!). So, I wanted to structure Hattie's Advent calendar to help her learn to be intentional, too.
Hattie just turned 2 in October, but she's somewhat starting to grasp serving other people through various activities we've done throughout the year. You can read about our experience with Operation Christmas Child here! But, regardless of how much she truly gets right now, modeling and fostering a servant's heart is something that's extremely important in our home.
So, that's the goal– to be intentional in counting our blessings, serving others, and celebrating Jesus– our greatest gift of all!
Below you will find our list of 25 Advent activities– remember, these are geared toward our 2-year-old, so use them as a starting point for your family! I think the most important part is chatting about why you're doing what you're doing each day.
- Hide post-it notes with nice messages in our library books before we return them.
- Color pictures and mail them to your grandparents.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Donate a quarter to the Salvation Army bucket.
- Let someone ahead of us in the checkout line.
- Spend time as a family looking at Christmas lights and talking about how we can be a light to others and how Jesus is the light of our world.
- Give our quarter to someone at Aldi.
- Pay for a stranger’s coffee.
- Bake and deliver cookies to our neighbors.
- Color a picture and write a thank you note for our trash truck drivers.
- Serve our mail carrier a hot chocolate on a cold day.
- Choose a toy to donate to a child in need.
- Invite friends over and serve them dinner.
- Donate clothes to a women and children’s shelter.
- Read “The Legend of the Candy Cane” as a family while enjoying candy canes. (You can play it on YouTube here!)
- Pray for a friend.
- Make thank you cards for your teachers.
- Leave flowers on a neighbor’s door step.
- Leave an encouraging note on someone’s car.
- Serve breakfast to daddy in bed.
- Buy something you really want and give it to a friend.
- Send a thank you note to the firehouse.
- Spend time with an elderly or lonely neighbor.
- Choose a book to donate to our Little Free Library.
- Watch a Christmas movie and spend time together as a family. No phones mom and dad!
I also created and printed these scripture advent cards to tell the Christmas story and will align our Advent activities with the cards, our Elf's activities, or our weekly routine! For example– one day, I know our elf is hiding candy canes, so that day we will do activity #15. Hattie always goes to swim lessons on Wednesday, so she can deliver a note to her teacher that day. When our bible verse talks about loving our neighbors well, we'll be sure to do an activity that serves them. My goal is to always streamline our life! You can see how I do this on the spreadsheet below.
While you can't alter the PDF, you can copy+paste from the spreadsheet to create your own cards to fit your advent calendar! Ours is teeny-tiny, so I'm going to need my magnifying glass to read our cards!
As always, I hope this helps. I created it for myself, so I figured I might as well share it!
Meredith Maag Photography is a Kansas City newborn photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions in the Kansas City area, including Mission, Westwood, Brookside, Waldo, Country Club Plaza, Crossroads, Westport, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Prairie Village, Leawood, Independence, Lenexa, Olathe, and The Northland.
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