Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Countdown!

When I was younger, all I knew of advent was chocolate calendars (we're from a very low church background!) Now that I have kids of my own, I've been on the hunt for some more meaningful ways to celebrate advent.

Here are some ideas I've found:

1. Ann Voskamp has a delightful little book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas, which guides your family through daily biblical stories and images leading up to Christmas day. Alongside this book, you can also create a Jesse Tree - hanging various ornaments representing different biblical figures and events in the redemption story. There's a whole website devoted to making your own Jesse Tree, with free printable ornaments, gift tags, coloring pages, etc. Worth checking out!

2. Another idea I've heard of is to set up your nativity scene progressively, one set of figurines at a time, and saving baby Jesus for last. His arrival made all the more special on Christmas day!

3. Similarly, another twist on the nativity scene is to have the wisemen/magi start on one end of the house and journey closer and closer to baby Jesus as Christmas day draws closer.

4. This Playdoh Advent calendar is just pure fun!
5. And if you have artistically inclined children, consider printing out some blank templates of this advent tree and providing crayons and markers to decorate one shape at a time until Christmas day. Proudly display the progress on the refrigerator!

And this year, now that my kids are old enough that I can sleep through the night uninterrupted, I actually planned ahead and ordered this reusable Christmas stocking advent calendar! 

I tucked tiny little treats inside, as well as a low key Christmas activity to do each day (like: "Read a special Christmas book" and "Have a picnic by the Christmas tree").

Does anyone else love the countdown to Christmas as much as I do? How does your family celebrate Advent?