Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Advent Jar

I was talking to a girlfriend the other day about how to impart to our kids an awareness of others, how to look for opportunities to serve and love others.

I was sharing how we pray before each school year with our kids and ask God to show them who to love up on. . who may need someone to sit with them at lunch or someone to play with them on the playground, who could use his or her name lifted in prayer each night as we tuck our own in bed.

I shared how we often at dinner announce, "Tomorrow at dinner we are going to go around the dinner table and ask: How did you make Jesus smile today? And you need to come with an answer." Letting your kids know you are gonna ask that question helps them be aware of opportunities to serve and love up on others thruout the day. Mom and Dad have to answer the question too come the following evening.

The next time my friend and I met, she told me that my ideas were too abstract for her 4 and 6 year old, so she came up with something more concrete: the Christmas Advent Jar.

She and her girls decorated a plain pickle jar with ribbon and other craft supplies.

They then cut 24 small pieces of paper and wrote one way to love others on the paper, one way to prefer others or serve others, one act of kindness or a good deed on each slip of paper.

Then each morning beginning Dec 1 they draw a piece of paper and that is everyone in the familys "job" for the day. The day we met the "job" was to let someone cut you in line without arguing or grumbling. My girlfriend was challenged to do that on the highway when she was driving over to meet me, as she was running late.

This is my girlfriend and her family's way to count down the days until Christmas. These are their birthday gifts to Jesus. On Christmas eve, the jar will be empty.

And I was surfing around blogland, I stumbled across this Christmas Advent Jar over at Just A Girl:

WOW! She fills each one of her Advent presents with a way to spend time together as a family such as build a fort and have dinner in it or play a board game. You have to click here to see what other ideas she puts in the mini presents and how she made those mini presents. WOW!!

But you know, no guilt or pressure to create something like the above picture. My girlfriend's pickle jar serves the same purpose.

So as Christmas approaches, how will you count down the days? How will your life be a gift?


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE these beautiful ideas you are sending out the last week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Definitely an answer to my prayers to make our families Christmas more about Jesus - your suggestions are sweet, simple and practical. Love, love, love, love the heart behind it and so grateful for the way God is using you, Su!

    -TB

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