Saturday, November 30, 2013

advent calendar...updated

it's the first day of advent so wanted to pop in for a quick look at this year's family advent calendar.  some of you may remember my homemade mitten one we've used the past few years.  well, after last year i knew we needed a new one...mine had some flaws.  

problem one - when i made the mittens that first year, i wrote in pen the verse and fun activities for each day of the season.

problem two - this design meant that  a "saturday" activity (i.e. sleepover in the living room under the christmas tree) had been bumped to a monday.  i love my kids and all, but not quite enough to have a fun living room sleepover on a school night!  similarly, going out for donuts before school wasn't as exciting when the activity fell on a weekend.

problem three - my kids can read.  meaning i couldn't just make-up the activity to be something else.  
it was time for a new one.  one that was most importantly about the bible message, but that also allowed for some flexibility to have the activities land on days when we could enjoy them.  
i loved these calendar cards by the talented melissa beaver at the lovely words.  each card includes a bible referenced designed in a way that is just so beautiful.  so, i ordered a set and have clipped my own little activity cards to the back.  

now all season long we'll look forward to flipping to see, read and reflect on what will become a wall full of beautiful messages.  this version also allows some flexibility if mama elf needs to change things up a bit by switching the activity cards around based on changing schedules.  on that note, i also remembered to plug the activities into my calendar this year... again, lesson learned from last year's surprise & scramble to have gingerbread house kits ready on the right day.
i wanted to share, not because i think you need to have one exactly like this, but because this is one of our most favorite family traditions.  preparing our hearts, serving others and enjoying the best parts of this season...the best!

in case any of you are planning activities of your own  - i thought i'd share the verse & defoyd plans in case you want to join us! 

merry christmas friends!

day 1: isaiah 41:5 /decorate gingerbread cookies
day 2: isaiah 52: 7-10 / mail letters to santa
day 3: isaiah 40: 9-11 / watch the grinch who stole christmas
day 4: genesis 3:15-18 / decorate bedroom doors for christmas
day 5: genesis 15: 1-6 / have hot chocolate with breakfast
day 6: deuteronomy 18: 15-19 / buy toys for kids in need
day 7: psalm 89: 1-4 / christmas craft
day 8: isiah 11: 1-10 / sign silent night by candle light
day 9: zechariah 6: 12-13 / listen to christmas music really loud
day 10: michah 5: 2-4 / go out for donuts before school
day 11: malachi 3: 1-6 / go for a flashlight walk after dinner to see the lights around the circle
day 12: john 1: 1-8 / put money in the salvation army bucket
day 13: john 1: 9-18 / go out to the movies to see frozen
day 14: mark 1: 1-3 / have a sleepover in the living room under the tree
day 15: luke 1: 5-13 / write & illustrate the christmas story
day 16: luke 1: 14-17 / wear pajamas and go for a drive to see the christmas lights
day 17: luke 1: 18-25 / watch charlie brown christmas
day 18: luke 1: 39-45 / make cards for teachers
day 19: luke 1: 46-56 / donate item for collections at karate & gymnastics
day 20: luke 1: 57-66 / go to bennett's christmas concert
day 21: luke 1: 67-80 / make treats & deliver to neighbors
day 22: luke 7: 10-14 / donate blankets for project just because @ church
day 23: luke 1: 26-45 / deliver gifts to teachers
day 24: isaiah 9: 2-7 / open one present
day 25: matthew 1: 18-25 / have birthday pancakes for jesus

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