As I shared with you a couple days ago, preparing for Christmas through Advent can be a great way to help you keep Jesus the center of your Christmas. In that post I gave you 3 tools you can use to help you in that: Advent wreaths, Advent devotionals/books, and Advent calendars.
Advent wreaths come with their own “built in” activities of lighting the candles and reading Scripture. Advent books also come with their own built in “activity” of reading a specific part of the book and Scripture each day. Advent calendars have much variety available, (and many ways to make them, as I showed you yesterday.)
Some Advent calendars just have you move a token from day to day, to mark the day. Others just have you open a little window to reveal a small picture, or part of a large picture that isn’t complete until Christmas. Others have a part of the story of the Incarnation to read each day from the Bible. Others (Jesus/Jesse Trees) are bare branches to hang a symbol that reminds us of some facet of Jesus. Others are built around getting a gift everyday (overkill, IMO.) Others are based on various activities.
Since I believe we should be reading the story of the Incarnation daily as part of our Advent celebration, and I also believe we should not be teaching our children that this is all about them getting gifts, not only for Christmas but also everyday for the month prior, and I don’t believe you need daily creative instruction for moving a token or opening a card window, this post is on some other activities you can do. They are not all specifically focused directly on Jesus (since that focus is already in our Scripture reading, which is the high point of our daily Advent celebration), but all are on preparing our hearts and homes, through giving and decorating, and learning some of the past of Christmas. Again, we don’t want our preparations to take the place of or distract from the Reason for the Season, but we can enjoy, in their proper place, many things in that preparation for the Celebration.
In my next few posts I’ll share ideas for you to glean and gain inspiration from. The ages of your children and your own time energy and budget, as well as other local activities, will influence your “calendar”. Of course, any of these can be done in any order, except the lighting of the candles on Sundays. This year, Advent starts on December first, which is a Sunday. That just makes things easy. On other years, we’d set up our Nativities on the first of December, and move the Advent wreath activities to the proper Sundays.
I’ll get at least the beginning of the list of Free or Almost Free Advent Activities posted before the end of this week, as Advent starts this Sunday.