Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Advent Calendar

In case you missed it, this month I am going big by going small.

"Now you may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold, I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small things in many instances doth confound the wise." (Alma 37:6)

I read that passage from The Book of Mormon, and I wonder if the Lord had the work of Mothers in mind when inspiring this scripture.  

I know that the little things that I do at home for my family day in and day out...are just that. They are little.  They are small things just the same way that a kiss on a boo-boo is a small thing, and a good night story is a small thing, and matching socks and packing lunches is a small thing.  BUT added together, these small things will have a  BIG effect on my children, on their children, and on every person that they come into contact with for the rest of...FOREVER.

Now that's going big by going small.

So, here is a small and simple November ritual that I wanted to share with you today.

It is a Thanksgiving Advent Calendar.

Unlike the typical Christmas Advent calendars where children GET gifts out of the doors or pockets each day, my children write down what they are thankful for each day on slips of paper that they put into each pocket.  Then at Thanksgiving dinner, we take turns reading each slip of paper aloud.  

We did this for the first time last year, and it was a beautiful experience.  Hearing all of our  blessings read aloud at Thanksgiving dinner really brought the spirit.  And it worked better than trying to think up things we are thankful for on the spot.

There are many ways that you can do this without having to actually make a calendar like I did (although my kids enjoy it, and last year the pockets contained small stickers that they could have after they replaced it with a "gratitude slip".)  Over at Chocolate on my Cranium, there is a guest post about making a Blessing Box...similar concept.

All month, Montserrat is focusing on having Grateful Hearts and Giving Hands, so be sure to check that out!

See...small and simple. 

Now I have to tackle the not so small and simple task of cleaning my whole house.  
The whole house on blogging thing has once again reared its ugly head.

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  1. Thanks again JC. I loved this idea last year and wanted to make one and never did. I need a spirit boost and this may do the trick. I have so much scrapbooking paper (and fabric but I can't find my sewing machine) I may have the girls make a blessing advent out of paper tonight !

  2. As usual I am smiling at your cute post. I too believe the small moments of the day add up to be a great moment when put together. Not all my days follow this. Thanks for your idea on the Thanksgiving calendar.
    Blessings to you for always a good read.

  3. I did this sort of thing one year. I made a turkey out of a box with an opening to slip the thankful thoughts inside. It was a great thing at dinner. When the holiday was over I put the turkey in our wood burning stove. The next Sunday in Primary when the children were asked how their thanksgiving was. My sunbeam yelled out that his mom had burned the turkey. EVeryone got a good laugh and I had some explaining to do.

  4. Wow! What a wonderful idea! I think I'm going to start this tonight. I don't have an advent calendar nor the time to make one right now but I am going to use my empty christmas advent calendar. I'll work on making a new calendar for next week. Thank you for such a great idea.

  5. yep moms are most important-great idea for gratitude!

  6. I am planning on this. Also, that scripture helped me a few months ago during a tough time. So grateful for inspiration from God!!

  7. This is a great idea! Think I'll steal it. ;)

    By the way, I totally LOVE your "go big by going small" attitude this year. I keep repeating that phrase to myself every time I think of my holiday to-do list for this year. :)

  8. Simple things like traditions really make a big impact. Counting blessings does too!

    Thanks for mentioning the Grateful Hearts, Giving Hands series. :)

  9. Oh, it's so cute! I'm really excited about recording our blessings and reading them at Thanksgiving, thanks for the further push of inspiration!

  10. I LOVE this. And the calendar is so cute.

    I have a blessings jar. Maybe that would work for collecting them. I only wish the kids were still at home so we could have their input, too!