Monday, November 28, 2011

advent ideas

ad - vent
1. a coming into place, view or being; arrival
2. the coming of Christ into the world
3. the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.

this will be the first year we've actually done something intentional for advent {besides chocolate advent calendars}. i've been scouring the internet for ideas and talking to friends and so i thought i'd share what we'll be doing together as a family this year for advent.

advent envelopes
you can find a plethora of variations on advent envelopes on the internet {hello pinterest} but basically you have envelopes numbered 1-25 and open one every day. inside each {of ours} is an activity for our family to do together such as decorate gingerbread cookies or drink hot chocolate and watch The Polar Express or make paper snowflakes and decorate the windows. i adapted some ideas i found online to our not-so-wintery climate and i think the kids will really like them.

advent story books
so i kinda went overboard and ordered a bunch of books off of amazon for advent this year.

The Advent Storybook 
24 stories told by Benjamin Bear's Mama to Benjamin as he impatiently awaits Christmas. each story brings you closer to the birth of Jesus and ties it all back to God as being the central focus of Christmas. love it. we'll be reading a story from this one each night before bed.

Celebrate Advent
this is a cool book that has 25 christmas stories from around the world with corresponding tree ornaments. i'm excited to read this book with the boys and i'm sure they'll be excited to have more ornaments to hang up on the tree.

The Story of Christmas
this is your typical "advent calendar" style book. it opens up to display 24 mini board books and read in sequence, they capture the story of the first Christmas, from gabriel's visit to mary (book 4) to the three wise men gazing at the star (book 9) to Jesus' birth (book 24). each book is one of four different trim sizes and features a gold thread loop so that after it's read, it can be hung on the Christmas tree. i think we might do this one in the mornings along with our advent envelopes. 

christmas books
there are so many great christmas storybooks that i wish i could buy or borrow, but unfortunately there aren't really any public libraries here in kampala and my funds are limited but here are two i purchased this year.

Room for a Little One
this is gorgeously illustrated and a sweet story.
i think i was drawn to this because jude will often say to us before his nap or bed, "there's room, mama" and pat the space beside him on the bed.

Humphreys First Christmas
adorable illustrations and told from the perspective of one of the camels accompanying the three wise men. i think my boys will like this one.

family devotional
we have started the first of our advent devotionals. jamie's adapting this one from matt chandler's The Village Church for our boys in conjunction with The Jesus Storybook Bible.

other advent resources
i downloaded a few advent colouring pages for the boys and will probably bring them with us when we take off for a few days later on this week. you can download them for free here.
another great resource is a book called Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper. i didn't bring mine with me when we moved to uganda, but i wish i did! a friend of mine has a copy here and i'll likely give it another read-through. {note, this is not a Christmas/Advent book per se, but has a section on Christmas}.

the only thing i'm really lacking is some solid christmas dvds for kids. i'd love to hear your recommendations if you have any!

so that's what we're doing - maybe we won't get through it all, but we've got some great traditions that i'm ready to start with my little family here in uganda.

i'd love to hear what you're doing {or not doing?} this christmas!


  1. Excellent ideas! I love the hilarious camel faced book! The boys will be so hooked that you will have to do it all over again in January :)

  2. These look like some great books! Thanks for all the great research!

  3. HA I'm supposed to be reading a scripture passage from Genesis all the way to the birth of Jesus every day from yesterday til Christmas. We are 2 days behind already. sheesh. But I like all your ideas! Maybe adding kids to the equation will help in the future.

  4. a neat idea i heard about last year is something called the Jesse Tree. the idea is christmas ornaments that tell the redemption story from creation to revelation. i'd wanted to do it but didn't get around to it this year. i hope to make it a tradition with my kids someday. =)

  5. Olive - yes, I had wondered at whether to post it as a resource even though we aren't doing it.
    Ann Voskamp has a phenomenal Jesse Tree devotional available for free and I have downloaded it on my computer, but it's a bit intense for us as it's every day and I wanted something that we could actually accomplish. I think sometime down the road when our kids are older we will do it. Or maybe I'll do it personally next year or something. :)

  6. we are doing Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands
    it's a wonderful little eBook for $4.99 that facilitates 24 crafts that represent every element of the Christmas story... the crafts are wonderful for ages 3 up to early grade school... each day has a portion of scripture to read and discussion points. we are putting each craft up on our advent calendar... sort of a reverse advent calendar if you will. Corey especially (3 yrs) looks forward to our daily craft and is learning the relevance to the Christmas story!

  7. @ Dee - yes! I'd heard of that book. I'll have to check it out maybe next year! I've heard nothing but good things about it!


I love hearing from you!
If you're commenting as "Anonymous" please make sure to sign your name under your comment so I know who you are!
Happy day to you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...