Your local Christian bookstore should have lots of Advent tools like devotionals, calendars, cards and family activities for families at various stages… and of course there are a lot of great tools available online (some crazy nonsense too so be discerning☻)
Here is one very simple tool that can be easily adjusted for your family.
- Five candles
- A designated time once/week for the whole family to gather
- A Bible (age appropriate for your family)
- A fireplace to sit around (just kidding… unless you have one☻)
- Set aside one night a week. I suggest right after supper.
- Gather the family together around the candles (If possible leave the candles (unlit) in place all week as a constant reminder.)
- If you are on weeks 2-4 you may wish to light the previous week’s candles at this point. For example, on week two you might light week one’s candle at this point. On week three you would light two candles – one for the first week and one for the second, etc.
- Read a few verses of the Christmas story as a family. You can have the same person read each week but it might be nice to use all of your family’s readers over the course of the season. Here are some possible selections to read:
- An angel visits Mary – Luke 1:26-38
- Mary visits Elizabeth – Luke 1:39-45
- Mary’s Song – Luke 1:46-56
- Joseph – Matthew 1:18-25
- The Trip to Bethlehem – Luke 2:1-7
- The shepherds – Luke 2:8-20
- The Magi – Matthew 2:1-12
- Simeon – Luke 2:25-35
- Anna – Luke 2:36-40
- After the reader(s) is finished light the candle for that week.
- Offer a brief prayer inviting Christ to be a part of your holiday rhythm. You may wish to have a different person assigned to pray each week.
No, this is not the strict liturgical way of engaging in Advent but this isn’t about liturgy this is about remembering and inviting Christ into our lives. Of course this isn’t the only way and you’ve probably got some wildly creative children in your family that can create an Advent tradition that works for you. Try to include these three things.
Remember – Advent is about remembering Jesus. Your Advent activities should work to remind you of the following.
- Who Jesus is…
- What Jesus has done…
- What Jesus is doing in your life, family and the world
- What Jesus has promised to do
Secondly, this is supposed to be fun so celebrate Jesus!
- Why not have a party for Jesus. I’m sure He’d be OK with you celebrating early. Bake and eat a cake together as a family. Play some games together conscious of His presence in the laughter and joy.
Finally, share Jesus’ love with others
- Meet a need in the community – Volunteer with Salvation Army, a local Food bank or a soup kitchen. Do you know a person or family in need? Take them a meal, or invite them over to share one with you. Drop off an anonymous gift/giftcard, etc.
Advent! It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.