I am a shameless Christmas LOVER (all caps utterly necessary). And although I put up a few personal ‘boundaries’ around my zeal (ie no Christmas music and movies until Thanksgiving), I begin thinking about Christmas months in advance.
Everything about Christmas gets to me – the faith aspect, the festivities, the traditions, the gathering of loved ones, and the fact that so many people around the world share a similar focus during this one special time of year.
Before Thanksgiving I usually set some plans in place (like how to de-clutter the house before Christmas), but it’s not until after our Day of Thanks that I unabashedly move into Christmas Mode. After that? No apologies. We are Christmasafying everything.
Although we have an Advent “calendar” that I’ve done for several years already (need 150+ Advent activity ideas?), I’ve mostly used it for fun family activities and little chocolates. I will do the same this year, but now that Levi is nearly three I’m also excited to introduce more of a purposeful ‘spiritual’ focus as well. (My belief is that fun is not separate from spiritual, but you know what I mean, right?)
I want the lead-up to Christmas to be full of parties and merriment and festivities, but also have a quiet and reflective element to it as well. There is certainly joy and worship in both approaches, so I hope to find a blend that works well for our family.
This year we’re going to use the Jesus Storybook Bible:
Have you read it? It’s seriously inspiring. The stories are so beautifully written and the illustrations are simply gorgeous. I love reading it as much as our littles do.
Really, really I do.
I recently learned from this blog (God bless her!!) that there are twenty-one stories it in from the Old Testament—each ending with a paragraph that ties in to the imminent birth of Jesus—and then three stories from the New Testament leading up to (and surrounding) the birth story of Jesus.
I wonder if Sally Lloyd-Jones planned this perfect 24-day reading plan for December leading up to Christmas? Whether that was purposeful or not, no doubt Someone inspired her imagination as she wrote. Love it, love it, looooove it.
For our advent activity, the kids will get to visit the “calendar” twice: In the morning will be a note with a family activity for the day (as we’ve been doing in year’s past) and at night will be a note that says, “The story we get to read tonight is…”
Here is the Jesus Storybook Bible “reading plan” that we’ll be following for Advent:
Free download: Jesus Storybook Bible printable reading plan for Advent (This one includes daily notes that you can cut up and put in your pockets/calendar.)
Dear friends, do you observe Advent with your littles? What do you do?