Christmas is a wonderful time for family traditions. I love the many activities our family does each year to prepare for Christmas. Whether it’s decorating our Christmas tree(s) or participating in seasonal ministry opportunities, I cherish the intimate time we spend together as a family making memories. We wholeheartedly acknowledge that without Christ there would be no reason to celebrate. One way we strive to keep Christ first during the Christmas season is by celebrating the Advent with our children.
Teaching children about our Savior is so important, especially at Christmas time. There are many resources available to make teaching children about the savior super easy. We have used many different books over the years. After years of teaching the Advent to my children, my greatest recommendation would be to go simple. It’s hard for young children to sit still for long. Our Advent lessons are seldom longer than 15 minutes.
Our family Advent lessons include:
- Singing a couple Christmas hymns
- Lighting the coordinating Advent candle(s)
- Reading an excerpt from an Advent Study guide which includes scripture
We are a fairly musically challenged family so we have obtained a Christmas hymn C.D. that we sing from. I found a Christmas hymn book so we can sing along with the C.D. and actually know the words. I bought an Advent wreath with candles on clearance several years ago, but before that we just used a homemade Advent wreath. The children take turns lighting the candles (with supervision) and blowing them out after each day’s lesson. My husband leads our Advent lessons before bedtime each night from December 1 through December 25.
We usually do an Advent study during our ‘school‘ time each day too, which often includes special crafts and activities. Many of the Advent activities recommended in Advent books our family has long since incorporated into our Christmas celebrations. But, there are always new, fun memory making activities I find for us to do each year. It is such a treasure to experience Christmas through the eyes of my children.
Some resources that you may find helpful for celebrating the Advent with children:
- Christmas Carols (C.D.)
- Let’s Go Caroling! (Twenty Christmas Favorites for Choir, Carolers, Congregations) (song book)
- Wee Sing for Christmas (With CD) (song book) (has some secular Christmas carols too)
- Once-A-Day 25 Days of Advent Devotional (you can read the scriptures from whatever bible you prefer)
- The Family Book of Advent by Carol Garborg
- A Family Advent: Keeping the Savior in the Season
- The Adventure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions by Lisa Welchel
Our family has personally used each resource listed above. As I have stated before, there are many resources available to help your family celebrate the advent. Celebrating the advent with children (especially small children) does not have to be complicated or take a long time. It’s a privilege for parents to be able to share the story of our Savior’s birth with their children, and certainly not something we should take for granted. It’s not too late this Christmas season to begin a daily Advent study with your children. Purpose to set aside some time each day to prepare your family’s hearts for the true meaning of Christmas