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Real Food Tips: Advent Calendars (without candy!)

December 2, 2012

Being Jewish, I had no first hand experience with Advent calendars as I grew up.  I heard how my friends eagerly opened door after door and ate the treat inside. It was just one more thing they lorded over me. Advent: another time so soon after Halloween to eat CANDY!!advent cal

I follow a blog by a woman who started with an effort to feel her family “real food” (no packaged anything) for 100 days. It has turned into a wonderful labor of love as their eating habits have changed. She often writes about topics that tug at me. I wanted to share this one.adventcal

In her blog Real Food Tips: Advent Calendars (without candy!) Lisa discusses how she has helped her kids transition from the candy eaten (often before breakfast) to the concept of a “Giving House.”  Inside each door is a concept,  basically a random act of kindness that you could perform without having to go somewhere special   Her girls seem to be okay with this change so far, and she even included a list in case you want to follow suit for your own Advent calendar as well.advent_calendar

Her New Advent “Giving House” List:

Mail a card to a relative that you have not spoken to in a while.

Do something especially nice and out of the ordinary for your sister or brother.

Write a letter to your teacher telling them what you most like about his or her class.

Give someone a nice compliment they wouldn’t normally expect.

Pack your own school lunch so mommy can take the night off.

Go out of your way to “help” another child or adult.

Play with a friend at school that is alone at recess.

Choose 2 or 3 non-perishable food items that you can set aside to donate to a local food bank.

Write a thank you note to someone who has helped you recently.

Cut some flowers out of your yard (or make flowers out of tissue paper) and give them to either a teacher at your school or a neighbor.

Sit with someone different at lunch that you don’t know very well (and get to know them!).

Decorate cards that you can mail to children who are sick and in some cases fighting cancer (cards can also be sent to their siblings).

If you see a piece of trash on the ground (at home, school, or outside) pick it up and throw it away…be sure to wash your hands afterward!

Choose at least one article of clothing to donate to Goodwill or a child in need.

Email your congressman or the President asking them to consider an issue that you feel is important for your community.

Make a small craft and mail it to one of your cousins.

When you get to school ask your teacher if there is something you can do to help him or her in order to get the morning started.

Tell each member of your immediate family what you love about them.

Choose at least one toy or book to donate to Goodwill or a child in need.

Offer to take one of your neighbor’s dogs (or your own dog) for a walk.

Do a chore around the house that no one has asked you to do, but that needs to be done!

Call one of your grandparents on the phone (or facetime/skype!).

Write a letter to a soldier thanking him or her for serving our country.

With your parents help research a charity you can either donate money to or support through a future event (like a “fun run” or soup kitchen). Put it on the calendar and commit to it.

Give everyone in your family a big {squeeze} hug and kiss and tell them what you are thankful for.


I found this list appealed to me. It seems to be more in keeping with the spirit of the season.advent calendar-8

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2012 3:54 pm

    I still have a collection of Advent Calendars from my childhood, sent by relatives in England mostly that had no chocolate in them – the little windows opened to a picture inside that related to the Christmas story or to the larger picture of the advent calendar. The chocolate thing has crept in in the last 20 years or so. My girls have outgrown it now, but we have a pocket calendar someone gave us that is supposed to have chocolate in each pocket – I switched the second year to putting two pieces from a children’s nativity set (Playmobil) in each pocket, so they could build the scene day by day – it worked wonderfully for years.

    I LOVE the idea above – it might be good for me, actually, as I tend to procrastinate far too much on kind ideas at this season, and then feel disappointed with myself for my lack of follow through.

  2. December 2, 2012 9:55 pm

    I *love* this idea…. anything to reverse the trend to more and more sugar learning the joy of giving isn’t bad either.

  3. December 3, 2012 3:53 pm

    Lovely ideas.

    • December 4, 2012 12:55 am

      Seems fitting at this season (and any time actually, but ESPECIALLY now) to be thinking of good will to all.

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