By Kristin Milner
What is Advent? This was a question I found myself asking after being invited to a DIY Advent calendar party. Ten years later, we have fallen in love with the Advent season and all the family traditions it brings.
Advent is the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. For our family, the Advent tradition serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas.
During a season of receiving, observing Advent focuses my heart and mind on the gifts we have already received. The gift of life through salvation that cannot be taken away. It’s a gift of hope we have in Jesus, and the gift of love given to us from the beginning of time.
Each November, as I am making my shopping lists for teacher gifts and grandparents, I also prepare for Advent. Below are some family resources you can use in the Advent season.
Our Favorite Family Resources for Advent
Each year we use the Jesse Tree Book with our kids. They love it. Starting with Adam and Eve, it walks you through the genealogy of Jesus. For the ornaments, we used The Jesse Tree Ornament and Craft Book. We colored an ornament each day as we talked about the story.
If you are already feeling overwhelmed at the thought of making a craft each day throughout December, don’t fret. Crafts, baking, ornaments and activities are all optional. The special part of Advent is visiting the magic of Jesus’s birth each year. When we dive into the biblical history from Adam to Jesus, the timeline of events brings the entire Bible to life.
How Your Family Can Plan for Advent
Celebrating Advent does require some pre-planning. Our kids are at an age where planning activities for each day is the most fun for each of us.
Each year, I look ahead at our December calendar. We have fun events we love in our city, and always try to attend those. I put those events on our family calendar first. Next, I fill in each Friday or Saturday with a Christmas movie night. After these are on the calendar, I go back and fill in the gaps I need to make our Advent activities match with our already scheduled family events.
This planning and scheduling makes Advent very simple. Our kids love our Christmas traditions. The Advent calendar creates a yearly routine for me, and daily surprises for them. It’s a win-win!
An Additional Fun Family Resource for Advent
This summer I discovered a really great audiobook that aligns perfectly with the Jesse Tree story: The Bark of the Bog Owl. I know, it has a crazy name.
We discovered this wonderful trilogy by accident while on a long road trip. It’s a fiction book based on the story of David and his family. Listening as a family is a great way to experience a story coming to life. While listening together, we took frequent breaks to explain how this story related to the story of David and his family.
I hope these resources will inspire you to celebrate Advent with your family!
Wife Step: Is Advent something you’ve been curious about, but never knew where to start? Take time today and prayerfully research some Advent devotionals. It might be the perfect thing to try with your family this year.
Kristin is the pastor wife to her hubby and best friend, Tim. Together they have three beautiful girls, and an unusually gorgeous cat named Scooter. Kristin helped start Essential Church in Huntsville, Al, where her husband is the lead pastor. She loves to encourage women with Biblical truth and funny stories at www.kristinmilner.com