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During the 2014 holiday season, I introduced a twist on the traditional Advent.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the traditions we celebrate around the holidays. What are those traditions teaching our children about life? How are they affecting society in the long run? One thing I’m certain of: I want to be actively involved in creating a life of generosity in my children. I want their first reaction to the holiday season to be to give, to love others and esteem people above possessions, and to cultivate quality time and lasting memories together.

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This holiday season I introduced a twist on the traditional Advent. My daughter Anthem and I scoured Pinterest for creative ideas and random acts of kindness. Here’s how to make your own Advent Jar in 5 easy steps.

Step 1 – Buy large popsicle sticks ($2.00).
Step 2 – Write creative, fun family activities on them.
Step 3 – Decorate the jar.
Step 4 – Starting Dec 1st, pick one stick from the jar daily and do the activity written there, together.
Step 5 – Have fun making memories!

Tip: I found that if we drew the stick each morning it gave the kids time to get excited about doing the activity in the evening. It also gave momma time to make sure everything we needed was on hand!

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Many have asked for my list of fun family activities, so here you go!

  1. Make paper snowflakes
  2. Build a fire
  3. Decorate the house
  4. Play games
  5. Drive to see Christmas lights
  6. Call a friend
  7. Tell stories & jokes
  8. Read a book
  9. Make crafts
  10. Donate food
  11. Watch a movie
  12. Give coffee & treats to the mailman/garbageman
  13. Dress up for dinner
  14. Sing songs & play instruments
  15. Write a letter / holiday cards
  16. Take fun pictures
  17. Wrap presents for the Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child
  18. Camp out in living room
  19. Donate toys
  20. Read Scripture
  21. Bake goodies
  22. Plant a tree or flowers
  23. Sip hot cocoa
  24. Bless a neighbor or friend
  25. Write a song