Posted by Tori on Nov 29, 2012 in a good word., family., video.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NASB)

We, as believers, are about to embark on a season of Advent preparing to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Our English word “Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” Advent is not a biblical mandate, but rather, a tradition of the Church’s history as an intentional preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Families, individuals, and churches all observe Advent in different ways. Traditionally, Advent is observed beginning the fourth Sunday before Christmas through Christmas Eve. This year the dates are December 2-24. I thought that I would share how we are approaching Advent this season as a family with very young children (2 year old & twin 21 month old girls). I hope these ideas and resources will help you as you plan your own Advent, keeping Jesus at the absolute center of it all.

An incredible resource I plan to use as a sort of devotional with my husband is John Piper’s FREE eBook, Good News of Great Joy. It has devotional and Scripture readings for each day beginning on December 2.

Also, I am excited to celebrate Advent with the She Reads Truth community this season. Beginning December 2, you can follow along on the She Reads Truth website or with your YouVersion Bible app on you smart device. The plan will follow the progress of redemption throughout both Testaments.

For the kids, we have created a homemade Advent calendar with special activities scheduled for each day. Here are some of the activities we have planned. We may not get to all of them, and we may make impromptu changes along the way. I did not plan something for us to do every day of Advent. For the beginning of the month, we will shoot for every other day, but towards the last half of the month we will try to do one each day. Overall, we wanted to think of things that would be fun, easy, and special for our kids (remember that they are all under 3!), also keeping in mind our travelling schedule since we will be with family the last few days.

  • Pray for the Christmas season to be all about Jesus.
  • Get a special treat.
  • Color a Christmas picture to share.
  • Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  • Sing Christmas carols (more like teach a few Christmas carols) in the living room.
  • Watch a classic Christmas movie while eating popcorn. (This will likely be A Charlie Brown Christmas – my fav!)
  • Special dinner date with the family. (We actually planned this one around extended family coming to town.)
  • Decorate Christmas cookies.
  • Bring Christmas cookies to the neighbors.
  • Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes.
  • Retell the Christmas story with the nativity set.
  • Listen to a new Christmas album. (Planned for our travel day.)
  • Breakfast for dinner.
  • Read the Christmas story from the kids’ Bible.
  • Pray, thanking God for the greatest gift ever.
  • Make and decorate a “Happy Birthday” Jesus cake. (This one is a family tradition on my husband’s side of the family, and it’s something my mother-in-law does for the kids every year.)

We are also planning to use these Scriptures (one for each day) everyday with our children as we begin to teach them the wonderful story of redemption through Jesus. (These actually go from December 2-25.) I’m just leaving references, rather than quoting each verse for you so you can choose the translation to use with you family.

Okay, I have saved the best for last. This next one is my FAVORITE for the kids. If we don’t get to do anything else, this will be enough. My children have the Jesus Storybook Bible. (It is INCREDIBLE. Jesus is on every page, right from Creation. If you are a parent, you need this. If not, this is the perfect gift for any of the little ones in your life!!) There is a FREE printable reading plan for Advent using the Jesus Storybook Bible. We read this everyday with them anyway, so for Advent, we will read these selections during our normal Bible time.

I hope that you’ll take advantage of some of these resources as you are preparing your own heart for the celebration of Christmas and leading your family in Advent as well. Remember, that Jesus is the center. It’s fun and important to build family memories during the holidays, but passing along your faith and the story of redemption through Jesus is what leaves the eternal mark.

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