Mission: Family Advent Activities

Photo Credit: http://wyandotteccc.org/2012/11/advent-christmas-jesus-is-coming/

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  Most people may groan and complain when they see Christmas decorations on store shelves after Halloween, but I get giddy.  Don't get me wrong, I don't skip through Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving as a time to be intentional about giving thanks, especially in the midst of our busy lives.  BUT CHRISTMAS BRINGS OUT THE LITTLE GIRL IN ME. 

Now that I am a mother, I have been hope to pass on the love for Christmas to my boys.  And not because of the presents.  Currently, they kick off their Christmas season by making their wishlist on Amazon and Elfster.  But a mama can't give up in attempting to pass on that warm and fuzzines that Christmas brings... something no amount of money can buy! 

The way I do this is through family Advent devotionals.  When I say family, I mean, the boys and I because, I'll be honest, hubbs doesn't really jump on the Advent bandwagon. It is what it is.

Last year, we did the Ann Voskamp's Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.  Each day, we read a Scripture passage, and the boys made an ornament that goes hand in hand with the reading.  We have a large indoor plant that we used as our Jesse Tree where they hung their ornaments. This came in handy last year when our fresh cut down Christmas Tree died on before Christmas Day.  We will be reading this book again this year.

There are many online (and FREE) resources that you can use as well!

Patheos has an Advent Devotional Guide that incorporates family worship with the use of an advent wreath, readings and even singing a song. 

For my Catholic friends, unless your church has a family mass every Sunday when they light up the advent candles, the meaning of the candles may be lost on your little ones.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a family Advent guide complete with a printable family calendar. 

I encountered the this Advent reading plan called Love Revealed from the Wesleyan Church. LOVE Revealed features four weeks of spiritual preparation leading up to Christmas. Included are sermon outlines; disciple group lessons for children, youth, and adults; devotionals, responsive readings, and more.

YouVersion has several different Advent reading plans you can choose from.  I love the 121 Advent plan because it gives an in depth reading plan for you (and perhaps teenagers) and a reading plan and activity to do with your children.

Women Living Well has an free Family Advent Devotional.  I love the activities they have.  When you click on the link, scroll down for the free download.

One other tradition that I am TRYING (key word TRYING) to embed into my family is performing Random Acts of Kindness every day until Christmas Eve.  I think the key to being successful with the ROAK challenge is by planning ahead of time.  I'm using a ROAK calendar from Coffee Cups and Crayons this year, with some modifications.

So, there you have it.  Hopefully, I have given you good amount of resources.  Do you have your own family traditions for Christmas?

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