I love this idea 'borrowed' from Catholics Mobilizing:
An Advent Jar
What’s an Advent Jar you ask?
Well, it’s just like an advent calendar,
except you use a jar and Popsicle sticks.
This is a creative and fun way to incorporate prayer, scripture,
service and family time into your Advent journey as a family
(or with roommates or even alone).
For this project you will need:
26 Large popsicle sticks (the ones that are like tongue
depressors) – colored ones are best
2” Wide Ribbon
½” wide ribbon
Fine tip Sharpies
Starting with a clean, empty mason jar,
cut the wide ribbon long enough to wrap completely around the jar with a bit extra on the ends to fold over.
Fold over one end of the wide ribbon about an 1/8 of an inch.
Using glue dots or double sided tape, adhere the large ribbon to the jar.
Cut the ½” ribbon long enough to wrap around the jar with enough extra to make a bow.
Place the smaller ribbon so it lays over the wider ribbon and tie it around the jar using a
bow to secure it.
Once the jar and ribbon is done, it is time to make your advent jar popsicle sticks.
Using a fine tip sharpie families (or roommates or even an individual, as I did) should select 26 things
– either from the list below, or they can make their own – that they can do throughout Advent.
Write one thing on each stick and place it in the jar.
Each morning, take 2 seconds before running out the door to grab a stick
and make that your goal for the day. Or if your family (roommates) gathers for dinner
take the stick out before diner and talk over dinner about doing that item
for the day. If you draw one that you can not
do that day, simply place it back and draw another.
1. Say a prayer for someone who is sick or lonely
2. Drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas Lights
3. Go out to the town’s annual tree lighting
4. Go to Church this Sunday as a family
5. Do something nice for some who you may not always like
6. Bake Christmas Cookies and listen to Christmas music
7. Read a favorite Christmas story together as a family
8. Decorate the Christmas tree as a family
9. Baking cookies for Santa – make extra to give to neighbors or those who are
10. Read the Nativity story – Luke 2:1-14
11. Send a letter to a family member that lives far away
12. Set up the Nativity
13. Pray Psalm 25 together as a family
14. Write a note to a family member telling them one thing you are thankful for –
15. Offer to help with a chore that is not normally “yours”
16. Make a Christmas Card for your favorite teacher and give it to them
17. Say a prayer at dinner for all those who are hungry
18. Do a kind act for a neighbor
19. Read the story of St. Nicholas whose Feast Day is celebrated during Advent
20.Make 5 Christmas cards and deliver to a hospital or nursing home
21. Make hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie as a family
22. Pray the joyful mysteries of the Rosary as a family – dedicate your prayers to those who go without
23.Collect change for 5 days – the entire family collects all their extra change each
day – donate what you collected to an organization that helps those who are sick.
24.Pray for those who do not have families during this holiday season
25.Wrap presents for friends and family
26. Write your own ideas.....
(Could also write carious Scripture verses on each stick to help you remember
to include the Bible in your daily life!)
I found green and red craft sticks at Dollar Tree (40 for $1) as well as ribbon and a jar...so this can be done very inexpensively and can be used from year to year!
Cindee Case, MPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.