Advent Calendar for Mind, Body & Spirit

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Ad·vent cal·en·dar

noun

The Advent Calendar is believed to have been created by Christians in the early 19th century to mark the days of Advent leading up to Christmas. The first known Advent calendar was handmade in Germany in 1851. Today Advent calendars take all kinds of forms and styles, the most popular and basic being the paper Advent calendar made out of thick card stock that children can keep as a Christmas decoration in their bedrooms. (source)


Our Advent Calendar Concoction 

For many years now, I've been wanting to do an advent calendar for our family.  My sister made one a few years back and it was so cute.  I wanted to make one with meaning but I kept finding myself picking up one of these cardboard advent calendars from World Market.  While it served a purpose, it didn't have meaning or add value to our life at all.  

While at an antique store last fall, I came across this great thimble display (above in pictures).  I thought I could make it work for an advent calendar.  (I love antiques but want them to serve a purpose!)  BUT it had 100 cubbies and I only needed 25.  What would I do with 100 cubbies?  So I figured 4 cubbies for each day and I began thinking about this.

I came up with a way to an Advent Calendar for Mind, Body & Spirit, with an added bonus of "hugs and kisses".  This will be our second year of having it.  Here's the rundown:

Mind | These are things that are good for our minds... and hearts.  Some for others, some for ourselves.  They are experience and memory based.  Here are some examples:

  • Fill all the quarter machines in a grocery store
  • Play board game by the Christmas tree
  • Pop-up picnic with homeless

Body | These are things to get us up and moving as a family.  Keeping active is so important and when you do it as a family, it is also experience and memory based.  Here are some examples:

  • Day 3: 3 sets of 10 pushups
  • Day 13: 13 minute walk, bike, or run
  • Day 24: 24 pushups, 24 reverse lunges each leg, 24 skaters

Spirit | These are bible verses that tell the story leading up the Christ's birth.  Christmas is so exciting for so many reasons.  I want a family focus to be on remembrance and having conversations each day leading up to Christmas.  We simply have a bible verse written down that we read, reflect, and pray about.  It may look different for your family depending on the ages of your kids.  There are tons of great blog posts out there if you just google or pinterest bible verse advent calendar. 

Hugs & Kisses | Because we had an extra cubby, a little treat got added to the mix.  With having a young child, a day never gets forgotten.  It's a built-in alarm clock!  Plus, when Rheya asks for her "hug", I open my arms wide and say, "Of course!"  She just rolls her eyes back and laughs while saying "Mommmmmm!!!!!"  It's great.


DOWNLOAD

Link to download & edit our advent calendar activity sheet

(You can not edit this spreadsheet but you can download and/or copy & paste into your own document.  Follow ours to a T, change it up completely, or modify it year after year.)

One rule... Have fun with it!