It’s not even December, and my six-year-old is already insisting on a daily countdown to Christmas. As a parent, how can I cultivate a spirit of anticipation and patience in my home? How can I direct my children’s longing – away from the material trappings of the holiday and toward the Christ Child? I want to use the Advent season – the season of waiting – to teach to my children that what we’re waiting for most of all is the coming of Christ and His kingdom.
Here’s a roundup of family resources for Advent:
Little One, We Knew You’d Come by Sally Lloyd Jones
This Advent offering from Sally Lloyd Jones honors the season of waiting before Christmas. This lovely book will be especially poignant for new or expectant parents.
At BeFree Dover we mark the weeks of Advent with candles lit during our services. In our home, we like to use an advent wreath at the dinner table, and we light it on Sundays. You can make your own (lots of simple ideas on Pinterest!) or purchase one from Etsy. Traditionally the candles signify:
Candle 1. Hope (purple)
Candle 2. Peace (purple)
Candle 3. Joy (rose)
Candle 4. Love (purple)
Candle 5. Christ The Light of the World (white)
Good Dirt: Advent, Christmastide, & Epiphany is the beginning of the Good Dirt devotional series, which provides families with meaningful spiritual exercises for the entire church year.
Waiting Songs by Rain for Roots features Advent-themed songs that are lyrically simple for children but musically complex for adults.
Illustrated Children’s Ministry is offering an affordable kit with elaborate coloring pages for the whole family, an advent calendar, family devotions, and a build-a-nativity activity.
In DIG we use simple wooden props to tell stories each week. We encourage children to handle the pieces during reflection time, as the Holy Spirit speaks and children ruminate on the story. You can create a similar opportunity at home with a simple wooden nativity like this one. You can set the nativity in a quiet corner of your home so that your children can play and revisit DIG advent stories.