Advent Ideas for Families
Advent Ideas for Families
As we embark on Christmas 2020 we are invited to participate and observe the season of Advent. My favorite definition of Advent to share with children is “it’s finally here”. Children know all too well what it’s like to wait in anticipation for something. Birthdays, Christmas, snow days, summertime, vacations, etc., children are very skilled at the act of joyful anticipation! The celebration of Advent fits perfectly with the natural, God-given inclinations that children already possess. Advent is all about celebrating that Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, has finally come. Below, I provide a couple ideas of how to make the celebration of Advent a fun and joyful time for the whole family.
In Jeff’s email on How to Observe Advent he introduces the use of an Advent wreath. Growing up, during the Christmas season we set aside time right before bed each night to gather around the Advent wreath. We would turn out all the lights except for the Christmas tree and my sister and I took turns lighting the candle(s). My dad led us through an Advent devotion (this is my favorite one: We Light the Candles).
During this time, each member of the family can have a job that they are responsible for so that everyone feels a part of the celebration. Some examples are:
- Lighting the candles
- Reading the verse(s)
- Leading the family in the Christmas hymn
- Closing out the time in prayer
This is truly a special and memorable time for the whole family as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Lord!
A tradition that my mom started with my sister and I when we were small was making an Advent star and chain. This is a similar concept to many Christmas countdowns however we added the reading of Scripture. The reason I love sharing this idea with families is because it is inexpensive and even young children can take part in making the star and the chain. Each child decorates their own star then glues the wreath in the middle. You can make new stars every year or save and reuse the same star each year (my mom still has my very first star that I made when I was three years old). Next you make the chain. Print out the verse templates onto colored paper (I always liked to alternate red and green) then cut them old and staple them together in order. This is a fun activity for older kids. The chain gets stapled on the star so that it hangs down with December 1st at the bottom and December 24th on the star. Hang the star either on the bedroom door or beside your child’s bed. Starting December 1st, they will pull off the bottom chain and read the Scripture verse(s) before they go to bed. If you have multiple children they can take turns reading the verse each night. I remember how excited I would get throughout the month as the chain got shorter. This is a fun Christmas tradition to help build that joyful anticipation and keep Christ at the center of the excitement!
Here are the templates:
I hope these ideas are as much of a blessing to your family as they have been for mine! May God bless you this Christmas season!