“A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’” Isaiah 40:3
“The only people whose souls can truly magnify the Lord are…people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the coming of the magnificent God.” -John Piper
- Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call. Keep trying to connect until you get to pray together. This little habit of praying regularly with a friend will truly change your life!
- This is the day that the Lord has made! Wake up, grab your Bible, journal, and a pen, and get ready to spend some precious moments with your Savior.
- Read Isaiah 40:1-5. Write verse 3 in your journal and ask yourself if you have prepared a place for the Lord in your heart.
Celebrating Advent During a Busy Christmas Season
Advent is a season of preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas. The term Advent is the Latin translation of “coming.” It is God’s prophecies in the Old Testament that prepared the way for His promise. He told us He was coming, and then He fulfilled that promise!
Honoring Advent teaches our children the real reason for the season, creates memories with our children they will cherish forever, and it allows our families to spend quality time together focusing on what is good, pure and holy. We will experience a more peaceful holiday season if we keep Jesus at the center.
Luke 2:13-14 tells us that, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
You might be asking yourself, but how do I get started celebrating Advent with my family?
Well, do not worry!
We at Help Club for Moms feel passionate about encouraging and helping moms! I would be honored to share some of my experiences with you, and I have included lots of links for you to choose from and save for later.
Celebrating with a Jesse Tree:
Jesse trees are a very old Christmas tradition and first started in Medieval Times. They are used to help tell the story of the Bible from creation to the Christmas Story. The name comes from Jesse who was the Father of the great Jewish King David. Isaiah 11:1-4 tells the prophecy of Jesse.
Using an Advent Calendar to Count Down the Days to Christmas:
Younger children especially enjoy using something to countdown to Christmas.
Obviously, you can use these boxes in a variety of ways, but I like to be pretty intentional with them. Every day, my girls pull out a small piece of paper with something for us to read together; either a short verse or a page from our Jesus Storybook Bible.
I also put a second piece of paper with a craft idea, activity, or a special snack to share. Some ideas include making cookies for a neighbor, wrapping our family’s presents together, listening to a Christmas song and dancing together. The possibilities are endless. I use this as a way to guarantee my family is doing something together, even if it is small, every day during the month of December.
This one is called, “Truth in the Tinsel.” It’s a very simple Advent study, especially for young children. Simply read the quick, daily Bible study to your small children while they make a fun ornament! The book sells for $7.99. There is also an easy, pre-made ornament package available for $3.99. Simple, meaningful and FUN!
Celebrating with Shepard’s Pouches:
Shepard’s Pouches provide another way to celebrate. I have not tried this one yet, but plan to try it this year! I found an amazing blog post detailing everything one needs to know:
Mary and Joseph Traveling to Bethlehem:
We have done this for a couple of years with my girls, and they love it. It is a Christ-centered alternative to the secular tradition of “Elf on the Shelf.” Each day, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem and the journey to Jesus’ birth draws nearer.
As many nights as possible during the month of December, my family tries to sit down together at night to read a Christmas book. My girls expect it now! We all snuggle on the couch or stay at the kitchen table if we have hot chocolate. I have cleaned up too many hot cocoa messes on the couch!Here is my list of our favorites. Make sure to plan ahead and put these on hold at the library, or you can buy them of course on Amazon.
Here is my list of our favorites:
- Alabaster’s Song: Christmas through the Eyes of an Angel by Max
- What Is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams
- Stable Where Jesus Was Born by Rhonda Gowler Greene
- There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve by Pamela Munoz Ryan
- The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
- The Small One by Alex Walsh
- The Perfect Christmas Gift (Gigi, God’s Little Princess) by Shelia Walsh
- The Candle in the Window by Grace Johnson
(Make sure to plan ahead and put these on hold at the library, or you can buy them on Amazon).
Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to the following question in your journal.
- Which one of these Advent ideas will work for your family? Spend some time in prayer and ask the Lord to guide you in planning this season. Ask for peace and patience as you are preparing and ask for the Lord to open your children’s hearts to the joy and wonder of their Savior this Christmas.
- Choose one (or more) of these advent ideas to become a tradition for your family. Start slowly and be easy on yourself if you begin late or miss a day. Remember the most important thing is that you and your husband are being intentional with your children to point them toward Christ.