This is an easy tutorial. All you have to do is set up some traditions for your family. When I started thinking about doing these Five Days of Christmas Giveaways, I knew I wanted to include something about Advent traditions. I’ve written before about how I’d love to help make Christmas more about giving than getting for our family, and last year I tried out the whole Goodness Gnomes tradition.
The main idea (inspired by ImaginationTree and her Kindness Elves) is to have some little visitors during the Advent season who inspire the kids to do acts of kindness and generosity. Advent is a season of preparation – we are preparing for Christmas, for Jesus’ birth, for promises. Advent is special.
Our church always hands out a calendar that is titled, “Slow Down. Quiet. It’s Advent.” It has ideas of ways to think about the season, and to prepare for Christmas. This always inspires me, as a busy mom, to take time to stop for a moment.
Here’s the thing – I will absolutely not be trying to do one of these activities every single day. I’m not going to be one of those moms who makes Advent an adventure. Advent will be quiet, slow, generous, and magical in our house. If there’s one thing I try to do every single day during Advent it will be to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and think about what we are preparing for. If we get to some of the fun things, that will be great. But that’s not the point. The point is to slow down, be quiet, act generously, and prepare.
I have come up with some lists that will help you do just this: Slow down, be quiet, act generously.
First is a list for ways that kids can act generously during Advent (or really, at any time). These things are ideas for young children. I’ve seen a lot of lists out there that cater to older kids’ abilities, so I wanted to create something that would be helpful for families with young children, like mine.
- Donate some old toys
- Ask someone to tell you the Christmas story
- Pick a child to sponsor for Christmas, and go shopping for them
- Make cards for your teachers
- Take coffee to the bell ringer outside the grocery story
- Decorate your family’s Christmas cards or envelopes
- Help your parents empty the dishwasher
- Clean your room
- Help the Earth by picking up trash
- Help the Earth by having a Pioneer Night – use as little electricity as possible and talk about natural resources
- Make presents for your grandparents
- Write Thank You notes to St. Nicholas (he always brings us new Christmas books)
- Surprise Daddy at work
- Make a treat for your sister
- Leave treats on a neighbor’s front porch
- Make cards for the mailman, and other helpers
- Ask someone to play with you
- Give someone a compliment
- Call your cousins
- Make a bracelet or necklace for someone
- Give food to someone who needs it
- Pray for friends and family
- Learn a new Christmas song and sing it for someone
The next list are some ways that you can do to be more engaged with the Advent season. Take a moment to slow down, think, be quiet.
- Go on a Christmas light walk
- Watch this video
- Drink a cup of tea with no distractions
- Have a dessert date night in with your spouse
- Sit quietly for ten minutes
- Do a sun salutation, or other yoga
- Buy the coffee for the person or car behind you in line
- Play a board game with your spouse
- Dance with you kids
- Dance with your spouse
- Turn your phone off for a certain time each day
- Read the Christmas stories in the Gospels
- Write down your favorite Christmas memories from childhood
- Send a handwritten card to someone
- Take a bath
- Light candles
- Listen to this
- Watch your favorite Christmas movie (I suggest White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life)
- Say thank you
- Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and just be for a moment
Anyone can use these lists, so where’s the giveaway? I’m giving away the two little guys in the photos above (I cheated and bought them at Target, so if you like them, but don’t win, you might be able to find them in the store).
To enter to win the Goodness Gnomes, do the following:
- Answer this question in the comment section of my blog: Do you have any ideas to add to either list? What is it? I want to see what other people think!
- Follow me on Instagram (carolynfwilliams), then comment on this blog post telling me you’re following me on Instagram.
- Comment again telling me you’re following Megan’s shop on Instagram (alwayscreateco).
- Comment again telling me you’re following Katrina on Instagram (katrinalhenry).
- Subscribe to Megan’s channel on YouTube.
All giveaways will close on Sunday at 9pm Pacific Time. Winners will be announced on Monday morning, the 23rd.
That’s five ways to enter this giveaway! Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear your ideas for making Advent quiet, slow, and generous!
Here are the other giveaways-