Have you ever thought about celebrating Advent with your family?
When I first heard about the practice of Advent, I was very skeptical. However, as my understanding of what might actually happen during a nightly Advent service grew, I began to recognize the inherent value. My family and I would join together each evening for the purpose of reading Scripture together that would help us focus on Christ during Christmas. When you put it that way, it sounds amazing doesn’t it?
While we try to be consistent with our Advent celebration each evening, every year we miss a night or two here and there. Some nights, the youngest wanders off during the Scripture reading. We are not legalistic about this event in our home, and it is truly something we all look forward to during the day.
We are not anticipating the advent of Christ’s birth, as that happened 2000 years ago. We are celebrating the advent of Christ’s birth, but also eagerly anticipating His Second Advent. The word advent means “coming” or “arrival.”
We pray Maranatha, which means “Come Quickly, Lord Jesus.” As a family we begin to get excited about what God has done in the past and about what God will do in the future. The effect of this excitement carries over into every Christmas activity we experience. Our focus on Christ during Christmas has greatly benefited from an Advent-style celebration.
Several years ago, I began searching for a simple daily Advent celebration for our young family. I tried several published Advent books, and discovered that none of these met the needs of our family. Either the readings were too long, or the words were to complicated, or nothing was included that would hold our youngest child’s attention. I’m thankful that today you can find several Advent schedules that work for little ones and families of any size and age mix.
This first one is a FREE printable calendar of Bible verses we have for you. Simply read the Bible verse each day with your family. No frills and super easy.
The second option is the Advent schedule I’ve written myself and used for ten years now with my family. It includes Bible verses, Christmas carols, Coloring Pages, Activities or Crafts, and Copywork for each day. This book is called Celebrate Jesus: An Advent Journey for Families and is available in my store in either ESV or KJV. You can use all or part of this Advent journey — make it super simple by just celebrating on the four Sundays, or just using the coloring page and reading the Bible each day.
How much or how little you use is up to you. The dates in this book are for 2014, so you will have three days without readings. For this reason and because I just didn’t have time to update the schedule, I’m currently offering either book for $5 — all 237 pages.
A third beautiful option is the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions set from my friend Alicia. This set is incredible and full of ideas to keep Christ in Christmas. This is a gorgeous, full-color book of printable activities your family will love, including a daily Bible reading, but so much more.
Another option I want to mention is Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Celebration for Little Hands. This set is also gorgeous, and if you want something super simple you can just get her printable ornaments for each day!
If you are looking for something you can make and do yourself, the following amazing list of blog posts includes several biblically-based Advent Calendars you can make yourself or download for free.
DIY LEGO Advent Calendar from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
Free Advent (Jesse) Tree Devotions from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
Free Advent Coloring Pages from Feels Like Home
Free Printable Advent Cards from This Reading Mama
Christmas Alphabet Printables from 1+1+1=1
Jesse Tree Ornaments from Life Your Way
Jesse Tree Calendar Connections from from 1+1+1=1
Daily Advent Crafts and Activities from Adventures in Mommydom
Advent Boxes from I Can Teach My Child
Simple Christmas Traditions for the Whole Family from Abundant Life
Advent Activity Tree from The Imagination Tree
The Names of Jesus Advent Chain from Spell Outloud
Celebrating the Birth of Christ from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Homeschooling through the Nativity Printable Pack from Intoxicated on Life
Birth of Jesus Lesson from Adventures in Mommydom
Christ Centered Advent for Preschoolers from Tales of Beauty for Ashes