Today begins the season of Advent. Advent is a Celebration of the Redemption provided by God through the gift of His Son Jesus at Christmas. My Oldest is two and a half this year, and the realities of Christmas are beginning to set in for him. So we decided to share the story of Christmas with him in a fun and age-appropriate way during this time. Pretty much all of the following suggestions come from fellow mommy-bloggers, however, there is GREAT opportunity for creativity and personalization to fit your family and your children’s needs and desires.
If you have children (or even if you don’t) and you do not have a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible, well…. you need one! This is the sweetest, most beautifully written children’s bible I have ever laid my hands on.
I was first exposed to this bible by my college campus pastor. On his final night of leading our group before heading off to be a missionary in China, he spent the entire “sermon” reading this book. It was Christmas time, and as the front of the book says “Every Story Whispers His Name.” As he turned the pages, and read us this beautiful story, we were all reminded that Christmas isn’t just a Holiday or a Time of Year, but a way of life and a reality that we are blessed to live in EVERYDAY. I immediately, went out a bought my own copy of this book and took it to my family Christmas to share. Most of all, this book reminds us of the immensely deep and wide love of our God, who thought of us from the very beginning.
Here is the reading plan we are using:
Courtesy of Adriel Booker
And then to make it fun and interesting I made some ornaments to go along with each story to hang each day. I paid for and downloaded some graphic ornaments (and add-ons) that someone else made to go along with this story. (They were $6 and worth every penny!)
I cut out all of the ornaments with pictures that corresponded with each story, and then glued them on to cork circles (all I could find from Hobby Lobby that was within my budget/time constraints). I punched a hole, and tied some twine for the hanging loop. Then I found these great little muslin bags on Amazon (honestly, we are Prime members, and it is the easiest and most convenient way for me to shop… seriously I’m addicted). I stenciled the bags with the numbers 1-24 (for the days of advent) and my plan is to hang them up with clothespins from twine.
So each day we will read the story, then open the bag (maybe there will be a little treat in there too) and hang up the ornament on our little tiny decorative tree. And then each time we “play” with the tree, because lets face it… Christmas decorations are just shiny, sparkly toys… we will talk about the story again and bring the focus of Christmas back to the One from whom it gets its name!
There are literally TONS of ways you can Celebrate Advent. You can use a traditional advent calender and put little goodies in them as a “reward” for reading the story, you can buy little ornaments that correspond with each story, make magnets, do coloring pages, etc.
Here are some other ideas:
I hope you enjoy this idea and consider incorporating your own Celebration of Advent into your life this year.
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!