Advent as a Family: Waiting, Hope, and Peace

Advent–the time leading up to Christmas when we reflect on Jesus becoming flesh and dwelling among us. But even more so, we anticipate Jesus’ second return. This is what I truly cherish about Advent. We not only get to celebrate Jesus’ willingness to become man–experiencing temptation, filth, hunger, pain, and grief–but we get to look forward to his return where he will make all things right.

Advent is not practiced by many people in the churches of Christ, our faith heritage. In fact, some churches of Christ hardly acknowledge Christmas because of the dating inaccuracies. (Of course this varies greatly from church to church). But as adults, my husband and I find great joy and comfort in celebrating the birth of Christ with much of the rest of the world. Christmas and Advent opens up opportunities to readily share our faith. It also nurtures a month of spiritual reflection, anticipation, and togetherness.

As a family we are using the opportunity of Advent to talk with Rebekah more about Jesus and his mission on earth as we count down the days to Christmas. My goal this year was to get us into the Bible as a family in a fun and engaging way. So I created a poster board Christmas tree and 25 “ornaments” out of construction paper with verses written on the back for us to look up each day. Each morning, Rebekah adds one to the tree with double-sided tape and we can read the verses as a family. The star ornament goes up on Christmas day because it has the verses for the entire Christmas story on it.

(I am taking credit for this idea because I came up with it on my own. If someone has already “claimed” it on the wide world of Pinterest or the web–my apologies! I imagine there are plenty of similar ideas out there. I just wanted something fun, easy, and cheap to make!)

advent-tree-and-ornaments

rebekah-and-tree

advent-tree
(Example of what it may look like when finished.)

Here are the verses we chose to use:

  1. Matthew 11:28-30
  2. John 1:14
  3. Colossians 3:15
  4. Matthew 2:1-12
  5. John 14:27
  6. Luke 1:39-45
  7. 1 John 5:11
  8. Galatians 4:4-5
  9. Romans 6:23
  10. John 3:16
  11. Isaiah 40:1-11
  12. 1 Timothy 1:15-17
  13. John 1:9-14
  14. Isaiah 53:5-12
  15. Isaiah 11:1
  16. Luke 1:46-55
  17. Micah 5:2
  18. John 16:33
  19. Isaiah 9:6-7
  20. Zechariah 9:9
  21. Isaiah 54:10
  22. Luke 1:67-79
  23. Isaiah 7:14
  24. Titus 3:3-7
  25. *Special Star* Luke 2:1-20

We are also bringing back our “25 Books of Christmas”. I got this idea from one of my favorite blogs. Last year I gathered 25 Christmas books (and I probably didn’t pay more than $20 total thanks to Library Book Sales and garage sales!). I wrap them up, then each night after bath time, Rebekah picks out one to unwrap and read. Much like with the Advent tree, I marked a special book that I want to read last with her on Christmas day.

christmas-books

basket-of-christmas-books

christmas-books-and-bear

special-christmas-book(Our special Christmas-day book!)

May this Christmas season be full of blessings for your family!

christmas-in-the-playroom

bedtime-smiles

What is your favorite Advent or Christmas Countdown Activity?

2 thoughts on “Advent as a Family: Waiting, Hope, and Peace

  1. You and Mitch are amazing parents! I LOVE your creative, afforable, hands-on Christmas ideas for Rebekah! She will always remember the fun and special memories you have created for her, and they will be passed on for generations! Enjoy the holiday season, I know it will be very warm and cozy in your loving “Engaged” home.

  2. Nathana, Thanks so much for the mention! I’m pulling out my Christmas books, too! I have such a big collection but I may add a couple new ones. I love the idea of having one really special one, set apart!

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