When we think of Christmas we should remember that Christ came for us, but that He is also coming again for us. Advent means at its Latin roots, adventus, (coming). What can we do to celebrate His coming to us as a human baby as well as His promise to come again? How difficult is that to teach to our kids who are tempted to see only holiday fun, seasonal greetings (No Merry Christmas allowed) and gift wrap galore? What do you want your kids to remember about Christmas when they’re grown?
I suggest lots of little reinforcements with a few big events thrown in. Some families have a special devotion time every morning or evening during advent. Some do a special something every Sunday for the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. Perhaps a traditional decorating of the Christmas tree, or gift wrapping afternoon? For every special event –big or small- try to at least mention Jesus. Even if it is a sliding and hot chocolate kind of activity, you can just take a moment to look up at the sky and share how grateful you are that Jesus came to save us. After decorating the tree, you can read the Christmas story in Luke 2, or sing a carol. As you place a gift under the tree, stop and pray for someone. If your family spends a day at the mall, make a point to purchase something for donation as well. The point is that our family memories will always be tied to the real meaning of the season.
I’ve compiled a short list of ideas to get you (and me) started. Try out some and let me know how it worked. Remember, nobody does all of these. I don’t even attempt to do a special activity for every single day of Advent because I want it to work within our family. When mama feels burdened, nobody has fun, and I want the memories of Christmas in our home to be joyful, not dutiful.
This website has tons of possible activities to go with a Bible reading for each day. Although these can be tailored for older kids, these are mainly for pre-school and early elementary. Remember not to feel overwhelmed, you don’t have to do it all: http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/christmas.html#DailyActivityGuide
Thriving family has a downloadable advent calendar with a scripture and discussion or activity every day.
Easiest make your own advent calendar ever using socks:
What a fun way to use those lonely unmatched socks! Instead of socks, you could use little bags, or even just write the activity/Bible reading/treat on a piece of paper and put them in envelopes.
Decide how many days you are planning to do this special activity for advent. (If you want no pressure at all, don’t put the days of the month on them, just number them. That way if you miss a day- or two!- you can just pick up where you left off, or even open two in one day. Keep a master list of all the different messages, so that you can glance to see what you have time for. That way, some of the “socks” could be bigger events and some smaller.
How do you celebrate advent? Please post your own traditions and pictures to give us some ideas:
Remember, Jesus came, and He is coming again! That is truly worth celebrating!