Advent is a beautiful season of preparation that reminds us to slow down and reflect on the year. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, as days continue to get shorter and nights lengthen, many families and communities gather to light candles and read devotions.
The advent season can be an amazing time of year for families to celebrate the reason for the season. Also a very hectic and distracting time of year, Advent is designed to keep our minds focused on the most important part of the gift giving and holiday meal cooking – Jesus.
Here are a few ideas to spice up your Advent this year.
One tradition many families practice during Advent is to read devotions and light candles each night. It can be an incredibly special time to share and discuss the meaning of Advent and the Christmas season. Setting time aside each night encourages everyone to share their perspective, helping us all learn more about the season together.
This year for your evening devotions, consider adding a creative flair to your time together. Whether everyone chooses their own picture, or you find a large image to share, grab your makers, crayons, or colored pencils and reflect while you create an image together. Coloring has been shown to reduce stress and calm the mind. Who couldn’t use that this time of year?
You can download apps or PDFs that include weekly devotionals, family activities, connection questions, and daily readings for the family. There are also quite a few creative ministries out there with Advent coloring packages.
When we think of advent, we often think of the advent calendars whereby a new door is opened each day with a little treat or ornament is inside. There are wine calendars, chocolate calendars, and a variety of other options available today. If you want to get creative, you can make your very own personalized calendar this year.
Choose your own version of a tree (live, plastic, paper, go wild). Select 24 Bible stories and create small ornaments that then correspond with each of the stories. Starting on December 1, pull off each story, discuss it, learn more about the Biblical history surrounding it, and then place the ornament on the tree.
Another fun do-it-yourself Advent activity is to make your own prayer garland. You can cut out 24 green and red construction paper strips, writing the name of a family member, friend, or ministry on each strip. Then, take the strips and place them in a cup somewhere handy.
Each day in December, have a different family member choose one of the paper strips, praying for the person whose name appears on the strip of paper. Circle and staple the paper in a ring, connecting it to the previous nights ring. At the end of Advent you will have a paper chain decoration for next year and a powerful reminder of the people and love that have filled 2019.
Reverse Calendar Advent Box
Similar to the advent calendar, but in reverse. Everyday, instead of receiving a gift or treat, go through your things, and choose items that are in quality condition that you no longer use, and set them aside. Fill up a box with donations for your local thrift store or homeless shelter. Remember to give items in good condition. You can also do this with non-perishable food items and donate to a local food pantry or perhaps even through your church. Again, remember to give items that you would be happy to receive!
Go with your family in the days following Christmas to donate your goods. Perhaps even meet some of the folks who benefit from your donations or learn how your donations impact the lives of others.
Christmas Card Prayers
One of the biggest activities of the holiday season is the sending of Christmas cards. As you receive them, place them in one big bin. Each night, reach into the bin and pull out a card. Whichever card it is, pray for the person or family that appears on the card. It’s a powerful prayer activity that will also teach your kids about the importance of giving back and thinking about others.
Here at Worship Times, we specialize in faith-based digital marketing services, helping churches everywhere to make the most out of their advent season. With Christmas approaching, if you feel like you need assistance, we can help.