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Advent Resources for Families

November 30 2016
November 30 2016
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As a parent, advent might have encroached upon your lingering Thanksgiving weekend. Without warning, the Christmas season is now here and you realize you want to mark the season in some meaningful way with your children but may be unsure of where to start. Fortunately, there are some resources and practices you can easily incorporate into your family’s traditions.

On our church book table, you will notice we have varied offerings that should give you a range to choose from for what’s right for your family. Just a few I will mention here (see table for all titles):

Little Hearts Prepare Him Room by Holly Mackle- this is a family advent devotional; With scriptures primarily from the gospels of Luke and Matthew, and themes from the Westminster Confession of Faith, both content and reflection questions intend to address the heart of the matter: what God says about us in his word and how his truth shapes our lives.

Good News of Great Joy by John Piper- These 25 brief devotional readings begin on December 1 and carry us to Christmas Day.

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie- Along with devotions for every day in December, this resource includes explanations of some hard-to-understand aspects of popular Christmas carols, and discussion questions to draw in your elementary through high school-aged kids.

Prepare Him Room by Marty Machowski- This four-week devotional guides your family on an unforgettable advent journey, exploring some of the most wonderful prophecies in the Bible and how God fulfills them in Christ.

 

Visual Markers are also a fun way to help a child make connections as well. Some easy ways to do this can be done simply, without a lot of prep or extravagant materials:

 

Paper Chain Garland- simply make 25 paper loops (green and red are more festive!) attached with tape or staples and hang where the kids can see the countdown to Christmas. Each day, they get to remove a loop from the garland. You can have them decorate, number, or even write verses or the names of God on them before assembling to be read each day.

 

Paper Advent Candle wreath- with green construction paper, you can trace your children’s hands and cut out (in multiples) to paste around a paper plate. Using toilet paper rolls, you can wrap the rolls (in pink, purple, and white) to replicate “candles”. Each week (on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon), you can “light” another candle with yellow tissue paper stuffed in to represent a flame.

 

Read, read, read!- Find picture books that you can add to your collection each year and the stories become a seasonal liturgy that your family can look forward to! Some great ones include:

Christmas in the Manger (board book)

The Crippled Lamb

The Tale of Three Trees

Here are some great resources with lists of picture books for December and a list of 25 Jesus Centered Christmas books.

 

Start small and find something sustainable for your schedule and children’s ages. God will use even the seemingly minor things we do now to make a significant impact long term in our children’s celebration of His gift to us!


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