Friday, 28 November 2014

A month of Advent fun and giving {plus me giving to YOU... FREE printables and a GIVE-AWAY!}

I am so excited!

This year, I am going to lighten up and make December a fun-filled month, in the middle of the dark, cold winter.

IT all started when I found an "Advent Calendar", in the form of a stocking garland, for a great price! It was only £4.50 in Home Bargains - a bargain, indeed.

At first, I thought I would just put one decent chocolate in each, and the children would take it in turns to have one.

Then, I decided that I wanted to make the whole month more fun.

That's when my brain started going wild with ideas!!!!

Firstly, I want to focus on scripture.

Now, I know we don't know exactly when Jesus was born, but I reckon it's always a good thing to focus on His birth - it's so incredibly wonderful and special.

So, I have come up with 24 different scripture verses, or portions - one for each day.  We will read it together, and talk about what it means. I had such a special time, today, looking through various scriptures, and trying to wheedle it down to just 24! It brought great joy to my heart to read those special verses - it really did reiterate, to me, how precious the Incarnation IS!

I will pop these little scripture cards in each stocking, along with the cards I will get to in a moment.

If you want to print off the same cards, shaped as tags, click on the images below, and it will take you to the file.  They span from Genesis to the accounts of Jesus' birth in Matthew and Luke.

You could, of course, use any scripture verses you want, and use the printable via the image below.


Next, we are going to go through the book Jotham's Journey.  This is a fictional story, based on scripture, which brings many fascinating things to life, associated with the account of the incarnation.  It should be a lovely read-aloud for each day.

The next thing I want to focus on is GIVING.

I think it's SO easy for children to get caught up on GETTING at this time of year.  Thinking about what they WANT.  I really want to instil in my children - not just now, but all the time - of the importance of GIVING.  It's such a scriptural principle, that shouldn't be ignored.  I have come up with a list of things to do, which go from the simple, to the more complex - from those nearby, to those further afield.   I am going to use the blank tags above, to write out which "giving" activity we will do each day.  I will share some of these with you now, but will tell you about them, either as I do them, or when we have finished.

This is the list, so far.

Gifts to each other
 - having a “give each other kind words” day;
 - do chores for each other; 
 - do chores for Mummy, 
 - do chores for Daddy
 - help prepare for Christmas meals, to help Mummy, Daddy and extended family, too!

Gifts to extended family 
 - making place cards for Christmas; 
 - recital for Great-Granny;  
 - make cards and thank them for their love, and tell them what you love about them;
 - make Christmas craft kits and send them to your cousins (shhhhhhhh - parents, don't tell!!)

Gifts to friends
 - visit Jean (elderly lady in Church)
 - bake for elderly 
 - invite friends over and make them a meal
 - surprise a friend with a visit and do something to help them

Gifts to those nearby
 - sing at Broomfield (local nursing home)
 - bake for Police/Fire/medical staff 
 - give away toys
 - donate  something to Specsavers gifts for children 
 - donation to local homeless shelter 
 - sort through clothes and donate to charity; 
 - donate craft kits to the children at the hospital

Gifts to those abroad 
 - letter for military 
 - support a child abroad 
 - send a letter to a foreign child  

The next thing that we plan to do is to just have a general, merry time making  seasonal themed crafts, and doing lots of seasonal read alouds.

If you want to see my ideas for crafts, visit my board,  on Pinterest, which you can find up at the top of the side bar, here on the blog, on the right.

 I will also find free, printable worksheets for the basic school subjects, just to make it more fun.  We will do a few Christmas themed writing projects, such as these writing prompts from Writeshop.  Keep reading for exciting news on that topic!....

You can find more great suggestions at 101 Random Acts of Kindness, here.

The Minimalist Mom has some ideas for advent activities here.

Anna, at The Imagination Tree has done her own version of "Elf on a Shelf", and provided me with inspiration for some of my activities.

Now, I can't have a month focussing on giving without giving, right??

The lovely Kim Kautzer, from Writeshop, has kindly donated the prize for not 1, not 2, but THREE of you to win your own Winter Word Bank writing prompt set.  It's a great little product, filled with word based writing activities for your children.  They give you several ideas of what to do with the over 200 winter words they give you, as well as about 120 printable cards, to use for inspiration.  You can enter below, by either visiting my page for The Joyful Keeper, on Facebook, or by commenting under this post.  Feel free to share with your friends, so they can enter, too!

So, there you have it! Free printables, a give-away, and some fun ideas, for December!

If you have any ways in which YOU have done activities through this season, then please link up, or share in the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The advent calendar is very cute -- I am beginning to think about Christmas. I ordered two new Christmas books and need to get the others out. I want to make it a fun time for the kids.

  2. I love this idea. I think this will be a great way to keep the meaning of Christmas central in our family during this busy month!

  3. I also am going to try to make this December more fun for my little ones. We broke out the Christmas books on Thanksgiving, and we will be starting Truth in the Tinsel on Monday.

  4. What a great idea to use mini stockings. I love it!

  5. I love this and love all of your suggestions for GIVING!!

  6. Hi Caroline, I don't know you personally but friends told me about your blog (we go to Lydia's church). I just wanted to thank you for the advent verses, which I printed out. The children are finding them very thought provoking and we're all enjoying working through the Old Testament prophecies.

    1. I'm so glad you are finding them useful. Thanks for commenting. (I know two Lydia's! lol)

    2. Haha, I hadn't thought of that! We're at the Welcome Hall.