I’m not quite so on top of Advent this year as I was last year. Nesting was in FULL FORCE last year as we awaited Grant’s arrival. :-) But, I finally got around to making the plan for this year.
The kids’ are already asking about the Advent Calendar and talking about the fun of last year…I love that they are old enough to remember and anticipate the season now!
So, these are the things we are hoping to do throughout the 25 days before Christmas/Advent season this year.
Each Sunday before Christmas, we will light a candle on the table (I haven’t made an official wreath yet, but I put the five candles in a group on our dining room table each year) and read a verse:
1. Light the 1st candle. It represents the HOPE of the promised Messiah. Isaiah 9:1-3
2. Light the 2nd candle. It reminds us that the coming Savior will be the Prince of PEACE. Isaiah 9:6-7
3. Light the 3rd candle. It reminds us the JOY we may have in Christ. Isaiah 35:1-2, 10
4. Light the 4th candle. It reminds us that God LOVES us so much that He sent his only Son. John 3:16
5. Christmas Day – Light the middle candle and the other four. The Savior is come!
Daily Advent Activities – great ideas from friends, this daily book idea, this blog and this blog.
I’m using the Tin and Chalkboard Advent calendar from Starbucks again this year. This year’s version is even prettier, in my opinion, than the one I got last year! I’ll print out the activity on small pieces of paper and put it in the right numbered tin. Some year I’ll get all fancy and make my own pocket calendar. Or, more realistically, I’ll pay someone to make one for me.
Each day the kids will tear off a paper chain, and we’ll read the Scripture and the daily reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Then they’ll open the tin for the day and see what activity we get to do! They also get to unwrap a book, which we’ll read that day.
1. Make a Christmas countdown chain using the Names of Jesus chain.
2. Decorate the tree and the house!
5. Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas & have popcorn.
6. Celebrate Grant’s birthday!
7. Buy presents for Toys for Tots or other charity, donate.
8. Snowman marshmallow craft (on Christmas Pinterest board)
9. Make a borax snowflake and handprint Christmas tree magnets.
10. Christmas Carol Sing-Along! Small group Christmas party.
11. Pajama surprise! Christmas tree lights and hot chocolate.
12. Christmas Tree craft – (paper tree/hole punch/tissue paper/hang in window).
13. Reindeer pancakes for breakfast and Christmas Musicale at Fourth Baptist.
14. Indoor picnic by the tree/lights, make snowman pizza.
15. Hot chocolate with marshmallows and sprinkles w/ breakfast.
16. Make a fort and read all the Advent books we’ve opened so far.
17. Make/bake sugar cookie cut-outs.
18. Decorate cookies.
19. Service Project: Take food to the food shelf. Birthday Party for Jesus with friends.
20. Christmas music dance party & play the “count the snowball game”.
21. Watch The Polar Express with special snacks.
22. Make peppermint playdough and play with it.
23. Take cookies to neighbors and act out the Christmas story.
24. Wrap last minute gifts. Christmas Eve service.
25. JESUS HAS COME! Christmas morning: read Luke 2, special breakfast and open gifts.
And if we don’t get to everything, no worries. :-) It’s far more important to love on the kids than do a million projects, like this wise mama reminds us. I’m not going to spaz out if we miss a day.
Our Christmas book list (some we purchased and some we borrowed from the library and will renew once in the month), in no particular order:
- The Very First Christmas
- Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story
- Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale
- The Nativity
- Christmas in the Manger
- Who is Coming to Our House?
- There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve
- Father and Son – A Nativity Story
- Tomie’s LIttle Christmas Pageant
- This is the Stable
- The Friendly Beasts – an Old English Christmas Carol
- The Christmas Story from the Gospel According to St. Luke
- Humphrey’s First Christmas
- Christmas in the Country
- The Third Gift
- Bear Stays Up For Christmas
- The Crippled Lamb
- A Christmas Like Helen’s
- The Birds of Bethlehem
- One Starry Night
- The Little Drummer Boy
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- A Christmas Goodnight
- Little One, We Knew You’d Come
- Good King Wenceslas
That’s about everything, I think! I hope it is helpful for others who might want to create their own list of fun things to build excitement and anticipation for Christmas Day and the arrival of the Christ Child. :-) May your Christmas season be merry and bright as you celebrate all the gifts HE has given us, beginning with Himself.