I’m normally one to resist planning Christmas out or decorating before Thanksgiving, but this year I’m already thinking ahead to Christmas, and more importantly the Advent season.
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I have shared a little bit about what advent means in a different post, but it really doesn’t matter what you call this time in December. It comes down to this one thing.
We must be carefully preparing our children to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, instead of letting the busyness of the season steal away their hearts. The true meaning of Christmas is not about Santa Claus, gifts under the tree, yummy food to eat, holiday movies, and family gatherings. It’s about remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I like to take it a step further and constantly remind my children as we talk about his birth in December, that without this birth taking place, there could have been no death, no resurrection, or salvation for our souls.
As parents we actually have been given a tremendous opportunity to help our children understand more about the great sacrifice that Jesus did on our behalf through Christmas. You don’t have to wait until the week of Easter to go over this, it naturally fits into the month of December if you celebrate advent all month long.
So with that being said, I’m going to share resources that will make it easier for you to do this in your home. I know the month is so busy, and the last thing I want to do is create my own month long study to do with the children.
Using an Advent calendar is probably what most people do, but so many times the advent calendars are not centered around the Lord now. Lego calendars, playmobil calendars…really anything you could think of is available. I’m not saying these are all bad, we did a girl’s Lego calendar last year as a fun side thing, but we always focus on a religious advent calendar, and if we do something fun it’s the side thing.
We have used this fabric advent calendar for a few years now, and the children love taking turns pulling out the daily figure and building the nativity scene throughout the month. Of course I always put baby Jesus last, so he is the final figure put up.
This year I’m looking at getting these advent cards for children. They look beautiful, and they have different questions on them depending on the age of your children. We could hang them up on our mantel, or somewhere in the house, or use this amazing pocket calendar if I wanted to invest in it.
I have meant to use the Birth Of Jesus study by Grapevine Studies for several years now, and just never made it happen. I’m hoping this is the year we do this.
Some free resources that I’ve found online to help your children prepare for Christmas
Nativity Advent Coloring Page –This is good for toddlers!
Printable Advent Calendar Cards – this one focuses more on advices to do as a family together.
Names of Jesus Advent Calendar – You could put this in a traditional advent calendar, or just print off and use as part of a morning devotion.
Hands on Nativity Story
Nativity Finger Puppets – let your toddlers use these as you do daily devotions.
Fun Advent Calendars
If you want to do a fun advent calendar as well for your children, here are few that stood out to me!
Build a Lego Advent Calendar
Christmas Tree Activity Printable – Sean created this one, it’s a fun way to let children put ornaments up on a paper Christmas tree, and then look at the paper included and find the symbol of that ornament and see what it says to do that day. It’s simple things like driving out to look at Christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate as a family, or watching a Christmas movie together.
You can find lots of food advent calendars on Amazon here, but the frugal mom in me cringes at the prices. If you want to include candy in your advent calendar, just buy a big bag of chocolate at Costco and pass out a piece as you read your advent devotion each day,
I hope this gives you some ideas as you start thinking about preparing for Christmas with your children!
Don’t go away yet though! With Christmas being the season of giving, I’ve gotten together with some pretty awesome bloggers to give TWO families some CASH in the 5th annual Christmas Blessings Giveaway – $500 cash (delivered via Paypal).
We hope that the prize will be a blessing to the winning families and help them to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wishes, pay off some bills, or to save for a rainy day. Whatever the money ends up being used for, our prayer is that it helps to lessen any financial burden and/or fills a specific need.
There are lots of entry options in the Rafflecopter form below – the more you enter, the better your chance of winning! I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it? I think it is! Plus, all of these generous bloggers donated their own money toward the cash prizes and this giveaway wouldn’t be possible without them. So I hope you’ll take the time to check out each one. Who knows, maybe you will find your new favorite blog.
The giveaway will run from Monday, November 12th through Wednesday, November 21st (ends at 11:59pm EST). Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win. Please be sure to read the Rafflecopter terms and conditions upon entering.
a Rafflecopter giveaway