Advent Activities: First Day of Advent Starts with Thanksgiving

how to simplify your homeschool

Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent.

What are you doing to prepare for Christmas through this Advent season?

In our family, we read a special set of Scriptures throughout Advent, to refocus our attention on Christ during the holiday season. This year, I’d like to try something new…connecting Thanksgiving to Advent & Christmas.

For most of us, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is upon us. Today I was struck by the idea that Thanksgiving should really be our preparation for Christmas. Let me explain.

Many of us go around the table saying what we are thankful for this year as we gather together. In our family, my mom added a twist to this tradition. She had each person write on a paper feather what they are thankful for. At the bottom of the feather, we put our initials. Then, we inserted the feather into the pinecone turkey so our initials did not show.

After dinner, each person chose a feather. We took turns reading the feather and guessing who wrote it. At first, I thought it might be a bit corny. In the end, we had a great time reading, guessing & laughing. Overall, it was a fun way to give thanks to God for what He has given us.

This year, I don’t want to stop at Thanksgiving. Our “thanksgiving season” should continue into Christmas as we look to Christ and his birth. Personally, I am going to keep a list of “things I am thankful for”. We did this as a family about 7 years ago.

My list begins here: “I am thankful for:”

  • my wonderful, patient and loving husband
  • my children whom I admire
  • my parents who raised me to follow God forever

This year, I plan to add one item to my list every day throughout Advent. I will always tell God “thank you“. Sometimes, I will call or write a note telling others “thank you.” I believe that keeping this “thankful list” will keep me focused on God’s gifts to me, instead of the busy-ness of the Christmas season.

I did not include this idea in my Advent Calendar Countdown but plan to send this idea to everyone who is getting my free Advent Calendar Countdown. I think it can be so helpful to our kids as they refocus on thanks-giving and move away from getting.

What else will my thankful list do?

(Tomorrow, I’ll continue other reasons for keeping a thankful list, especially when your life appears to have NOTHING going for you.)

Kerry Beck wants to give you a free Advent Calendar Countdown to use in your Christmas & Advent celebration this year. You can also get a free webinar, “6 Clues to Put Christ Back in Christmas” at

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