Advent-ing!

I love the idea of family Advent traditions. I realize that we are still a few days away, but if you’re like me – you have to at least start thinking about it now, otherwise Thanksgiving will come and go and it’ll be December 1st and Advent is upon us!!

Many years ago I read the book, Treasuring God in our Traditions, and it has influenced me as I think about how our family celebrates the Christmas season. I highly recommend it if you are wondering what traditions you might want to implement or why traditions could even play an important role in your family.

Here are some things we’ve done and new beginnings and wishful thinking for our family’s Advent season this year!

Advent Calendar

This seem like the most basic of all the Advent traditions and three years ago, I finally bought a calendar and got this all started at our house. Our tradition has been to read through 25 stories of the Jesus Storybook Bible leading up to the birth of Christ and choose a small item to represent each story to go behind one of the doors of our calendar. Each night one of the kids would open a door and we’d read the corresponding story (or sometimes we open like four doors and read a bunch of stories because we often fall behind!)

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My kids are super excited about opening the doors when they are 2-3 years old, so I’ll probably do it again this year since I’ve still got a little guy – but also want to try something new for my older kids.

I’m excited to try out these resources:

1. Austin Stone KIDS Advent Guide.

If you attend the Stone, they are handing out hard copies of these at the campuses, but if you don’t – they are available as a free download through the Verge network if you follow the above link.

The guide includes a Scripture passage for each day of Advent, which is also aligned with pages from the Jesus Storybook Bible. There is also a symbol for each day that the children can color and cut out and hang on a tree.

2. The Expected One Advent guide app from Lifeway

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There is an Advent app! Usually what ends up derailing my Advent calendar is nights when we aren’t home and we miss days. But this is an Advent guide to have on your phone – traveling with you wherever you go! I love it because there is a short Scripture reading and then some discussion questions which would be great to have available on a car ride.

3. Desiring God Daily Advent Readings: Good News of Great Joy eBook

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I have only glanced at this, but seems like it would work well with older kids (don’t have a ton of experience there since my oldest is six).  Looking forward to reading this on my own, though!

The Nativity Story Movie

I don’t know how well-known this movie is, but gosh – I just love it so much. It always makes me cry. I love how they portray the relationship between Mary and Joseph. And my four-year-old daughter asks to watch it almost every day of December. (There is some violence so please preview before showing to your kiddos.)

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Nativity Set

After lots of researching a few years back, I finally decided on a Playmobil Nativity Set. It has a ton of small pieces, so I took a lot of the tiny pieces out (like the ropes for the camels and the wise men’s crowns) when my children were younger and have added more to the set as they get older. (Look how young my kids were! Ahh!) As of last year, they still loved to play with it and the my oldest would tell the nativity story to my youngest and act it out with the pieces. Loved that so much!

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These are about the only Advent traditions that we have down, but I love what we have and want to add more as my kiddos keep growing!

I’d love for you to visit my friend, Julie’s blog. She is amazing and planning traditions for her family for every season, and here are some great ones to check out specifically for Advent:

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