It’s that time of year again, the most wonderful time of year, when we get to decorate our houses, drink peppermint lattes, and when eating sugar cookies everyday for breakfast is socially acceptable. But most importantly, we get to celebrate the coming of our Savior. Every year, we anticipate and countdown the days to December 25th, remembering that Jesus Christ was born. This is exactly what ”Advent” is—the arrival, meaning the long wait is over. Christmastime is such an opportune time to set up a rhythm with your family of remembering why Christ came and what that means in your lives.
Because of that, we wanted to provide you with five Advent resources for you as parents to help your kids remember Christ’s arrival and point them to the gospel in this season. Find one that would work best with your family and ages of your children and carve out time each day and/or week leading up to Christmas Day to celebrate the coming Messiah.
1. MH Advent Reading Guide
Mercy Hill’s Advent reading guide is meant to prepare you and your family’s hearts to celebrate God’s Savior at Christmas. Each day, there will be a passage from the Old Testament that points forward to the coming Messiah, and the commentary will explain how Jesus fulfilled that expectation. While you are reading each day, think about the greatness of the promises and prophecies that God made to the world to save us from all of our greatest problems. This good news, this gospel, was the climax of the greatest story ever told, with enough power and glory to lead us to celebrate now with the same fervor as those who saw it first hand. Download the Advent Reading Guide here.
2. Create an Advent Jesse Tree
The Jesse Tree is based on Isaiah 11:1, “Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. “
Through this Advent guide, you and your family will read passages leading up to Jesus’ birth and color ornaments based on that Scripture. Create your own tree out of construction paper or put the ornaments on your big tree to see the whole story of Scripture.
To download and print the reading guide with ornaments, click here.
3. Jesus StoryBook Bible
This one is perfect if you own Sally Lloyd-Jones’ book, The Jesus Storybook Bible. For every day of Advent, there is a printable ornament, and on the reverse of each ornament there is a related story to read in The Jesus Storybook Bible and the Scripture passage it comes from. To download the guide, click here.
*If you don’t already have the StoryBook Bible, you can find one here on Amazon for $15.
4. Lifeway 4-Week Advent Calendar
Use these devotions, activities, and connection questions to help your family rest in the love, peace, joy, and hope that only Jesus can bring. Show your kids that he is the reason for this beautiful season. Click here to download Lifeway’s Advent Calendar.
5. Prayer Garland
Create your own prayer garland with your family by cutting out 24 green and red construction paper strips. Help your kids think of names of family members, friends, ministries, places, unreached people groups, etc., and write them on the strips of paper. Staple the strips as links into one long garland. Hang the garland in your house as a decoration.
Then, every day in December, have a family member remove one of the paper strips. As a family, pray for what is on that strip of paper.
We hope that you’ll use these resources or others to invest in pointing your kids to Christ this Christmas season. The Kids Staff will be praying for you along the way and are here to help if you have any questions or need any ideas for resources. You can also check out all of our resources at our Family Resource Center here.
-Abbey Voss (Kids Associate Director – Clifton)