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How do we make Christmas more meaningful for our children? On Christmas morning, as we tear through packages, eat our mandarin oranges, and sip eggnog, it may be a challenge to remember all those who are without such a joyous moment.

We participate in filling and donating Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes but what else could we do to evoke a sense of giving to those less fortunate? This year I wanted to do something more.

Hence, I have started the Giving Advent Calendar, a meaningful Christmas countdown. Some of the scheduled activities are for sheer fun (building a snowman, going tobogganing) but there are some meaningful activities that reinforce the importance of giving to others.

Check out this meaningful Christmas countdown (an alternative to advent calendars)! Click To Tweet

This is a fabulous alternative to an advent calendar. Teach children about the spirit of giving in the days leading up to Christmas. Print off cards for the days leading up to Christmas which have activities on them (i.e. donate food to the food bank, donate hats and mitts to the homeless, donate dog and cat food to the animal shelter, etc.)

I created the cards on the computer and I scheduled one special activity every day. You could always buy pre-cut tags and print your activities on them too!

Some of the activities I included were:

  • buying and donating food to the food bank
  • making cards for family members
  • writing a letter to our foster child
  • buying and donating animal treats to our local animal shelter
  • buying and donating a toy to Santa’s Anonymous
  • donating hats and gloves to our city’s homeless

Please overlook my “cheesy” poems. I wanted to make it fun for my daughter to read, and rhymes are fun!

My oldest daughter drew a picture on the back of each card, we punched a hole through the top and strung each with a festive ribbon. We placed all of the cards in a jar that she decorated.

This is a fabulous alternative to an advent calendar. Teach children about the spirit of giving in the days leading up to Christmas. Print off cards for the days leading up to Christmas which have activities on them (i.e. donate food to the food bank, donate hats and mitts to the homeless, donate dog and cat food to the animal shelter, etc.)

Every time we complete an activity we will hang the applicable card on our Christmas tree. It is my hope that my daughters will see the value of giving to those less fortunate, starting with this season and onward throughout the year.

If you like it, I invite you to pin it!

This is a fabulous alternative to an advent calendar. Teach children about the spirit of giving in the days leading up to Christmas. Print off cards for the days leading up to Christmas which have activities on them (i.e. donate food to the food bank, donate hats and mitts to the homeless, donate dog and cat food to the animal shelter, etc.)

If you need a list of 45 great ideas to place on your own cards, subscribers to The Deliberate Mom’s newsletter get a free and downloadable list. Subscribers can access the download from the exclusive Deliberate Mom Printable Library.

How do you instill a spirit of giving in your children? Do you have meaningful activities that you do with your children during the Christmas season?



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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly

Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, and Deliberate Homeschooling. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.




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