Parent Idea Exchange: Advent Edition

We had a little extra time near the end of this month’s parent meetings and used the opportunity to share ideas for celebrating Advent with our families.  It’s still close enough to the beginning of the season for you to pick up on some of these great ideas from our parents:

  • “Our family uses a traditional Advent wreath during our daily prayer time.  Kids are fascinated by fire and the chance to either light or blow out the candle each day holds their attention through the prayer time.”
  • We saved the Jesse Tree we made in a different cycle of Family Formation and reuse it each year.  It reminds us of the big picture of salvation history in little daily bite-sized pieces.”
  • “We like to gather together each evening to read a book like Jotham’s Journey.  It’s an exciting story with a chapter for each day of Advent.”
  • “Our family likes to set up for Christmas in stages.  We start with a few simple things like a strand of lights here and there, setting up the undecorated tree on the 2nd Sunday of Advent, and then decorating it on the 3rd Sunday, etc.  It helps to build excitement as the visible presence of Christmas grows and grows throughout Advent.”
  • One mom likes to begin her decorating at the fabric store.  “If you can even find one, buying a purple tablecloth would be expensive, but I can go to JoAnn Fabrics and buy a big piece of purple fabric for much less.  I also buy some extra fabric for decorating in other places.  For example, some purple strips on a wreath or under a candle remind us that it’s still Advent, but I can easily remove all signs of purple on Christmas Eve and we’re all ready for Christmas!”
  • “Our nativity set goes up right away at the beginning of Advent, but the figures are set up in different places in the house.  All during Advent, they gradually move closer and closer to ‘Bethlehem’ set up on our prayer table.”
  • “We set up a little, empty crib and throughout Advent the children have opportunities to add a piece of straw to it each time they go out of their way to do something kind for someone else.  By the end of Advent, we say their kindness has helped prepare a more comfortable, welcome bed for the baby Jesus’ birth.”
  • One dad told us about his ban on Christmas music until Christmas actually arrives.  “Usually I’m the Advent Music  Police, but this year I tried to sneak a few songs in and it was the kids who insisted we wait!”
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