Serve, Love, Give: DIY Advent Calendar
During the Christmas season it’s so easy to get caught up in our “to-do” list we sometimes forget the true meaning. I can honestly admit in the past there have been a few Christmas seasons where my heart wasn’t joyful nor was I giving God the glory for His perfect gift.
Several years ago I was inspired by a friend to make a “Service Advent” for our children. They were small at the time, but I so wanted them to know the real reason our family celebrated Christmas. Not just with presents, but the birth of Jesus, our Savior, and to know the ultimate sacrifice he would make for us. I wanted to infuse the month with simple and practical ways our kids could serve others at their ages.
Our calendar has changed over the years and our children are now all teenagers. We make the ideas together as a family and we balance our schedule carefully not to lose sight of our responsibilities. These Acts of Service are simple, doable and not meant to overwhelm our family. Some ideas we do together, other ideas the kids do individually.
Our prayer by doing this family Advent is that we will all consider others more important than ourselves, while showing the love of Jesus and the opportunity to share His gift. I hope it inspires you to create your own family Advent to celebrate Christ this Christmas by serving, loving and giving yourself to others.
- Advent 25 ideas example list -Click to download
- One framed, wooden chalkboard, approximate size 34x22; you don’t want it much smaller.
- A tape measure and pencil for marking the frame. Sharpie and Metallic pens optional.
- 8-Screw Eye Hooks 20mm size (these are found in the frame department).
- One small spool of decorative ribbon-size should be 5/8 thickness or narrower, one spool usually has 4 or 5 yards.
- One package of mini craft sacks, size 2.5 in x 4 in any color (25 pieces).
- One package of mini wooden craft clothes pins. They come natural and painted in a package of 30.
- One package of numbered stickers. Make sure you have enough 1’s & 2’s, or you may need two packages. You can also hand write your numbers using Metallic pens or a Sharpie pen.
- Note: All supplies can be found at Craft stores. Wal-Mart, Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Ross are great spots to find decorative Chalkboards. My board was on clearance from TJ Maxx years ago.
- My entire project was under $20.00
- Make one with a friend or sister-in-law to share the cost.
- Measure your chalkboard to determine the amount of spacing needed for each row.
- You will need four rows with five sacks each.
- My board was 34 x 22, so I used five inches between each row for my sacks to hang well spaced. You may have more or less spacing. This allowed me a few inches above to write Serve, Love, Advent.
- Measure twice and mark each row with a pencil.
- Twist your screw eye hooks slowly with pressure into the wooden frame. Start from the bottom row first for proper spacing. The first few twist need pressure to get started. The hooks will get easier. Repeat with remaining rows.
- Measure and cut your ribbons to go across and secure tightly around each screw eye hook.
- Cut ribbons long enough to tie tightly and hang over the frame. I added jingle bells to the ends of a few.
- Type and cut papers or use a metallic pen to hand write each Act of Service.
- Place notes into sacks and secure with pins to ribbon.
- Be sure to check your work and school calendar to determine what days you can best balance your service ideas.
- Give careful consideration to your kids ages and current stage of life. Your Family Advent Acts of Service should be simple, not overwhelming or distracting from the true meaning of Christmas.
Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments below!
**Do you want more ideas like this? Then you will love our next Keepers Connection event with Irene. Join other ladies around Oklahoma and surrounding states as we gather to learn and laugh together.
Our guest speaker Irene Delano will show us how to share God's love through gift giving. Our Connection will take place at First Southern @ I-240 & S. Sooner.
This Keepers Connection event will make a great girls night out or girlfriends getaway. Come for the event Thursday evening, spend the night, and visit Oklahoma City sights Friday. Watch for more details in the weeks ahead! Registration opens in our Keepers Shop on January 4, 2018.