Addie found one of her Christmas presents this afternoon. A cute little tin tea set in a suitcase. After a time out and a lecture about not snooping in Mommy and Daddy’s room, I was putting her down for nap. As I tucked her in a leaned in for a kiss, she looked up at me with a big smile and said excitedly, “When Christmas comes I’ll get my tea set and we will have a real tea party with juice right?!”
It is wonderful to be at a stage where my children can anticipate Christmas. And yet, how do I cultivate an excitement about Jesus coming, when the pull of Elsa dresses and holiday sweets seem far more relevant and attractive? It can feel so hard to keep Jesus at the center of this season with so much material that dazzles for both our children and ourselves.
Simple daily rituals can help align all of our hearts back to what really matters, to recapture the wonder of Christ coming to earth as a baby, to be Emmanuel, God with us. My prayer is that in time together reading scripture, reenacting the story of that night in Bethlehem, we all can rediscover the true and lasting joy of Christmas: Jesus Himself.
*Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones
Many of you own this wonderful childrens’ bible. Here’s free advent reading plan, using the JSB.
*Good News of Great Joy by John Piper. This is a free ebook of daily advent scripture readings and commentary. The commentary is geared for adults but the scriptures could be used with kids. http://www.desiringgod.org/books/good-news-of-great-joy
*Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the birth of Jesus Family Devotional by Marty Machowski. This is a new family advent devotional that looks at the prophecies of Jesus the Messiah and how he fulfilled them. It includes readings, songs, and activities to do as a family. http://www.amazon.com/Prepare-Him-Room-Celebrating-Devotional/dp/1939946530
*Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp. A gorgeous family advent devotional. Scripture selections span all of the Bible and includes the author’s commentary. The author just came out with an audio version of the book as well. http://www.amazon.com/Unwrapping-Greatest-Gift-Celebration-Christmas/dp/1414397542
There are free printable ornaments for kids to color while reading Ann Voskamp’s book through this link (and other cool advent stuff): http://www.aholyexperience.com/thegreatestchristmas/#gc-title-fgtc
*Advent Readings for the Very Young
A free printable of daily readings with simple explanations of the different aspects of advent, chosen and written specifically for toddlers and preschoolers.