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4 Advent resources for the whole family

The Christmas tree is up, our house is decorated, and my children are ecstatic about the holidays. ‘Tis the season for school holiday parties, company Christmas gift exchanges, and family gatherings. I can quickly feel the hustle and bustle attempt to distract us from focusing on the real meaning of Christmas—the celebration of God taking on flesh, coming to earth to save us all. And so our family has chosen to celebrate Advent, not just to practice the discipline of waiting, but as a discipleship tool during the holiday season.   

Advent is a time of expectant waiting and joyful celebration of the birth of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. And as we celebrate his first coming, it encourages us to wait eagerly for his return. There are so many resources out there to help you celebrate Advent as a family, but here are four resources that we’ve found beneficial over the years.   

1. The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent

Over the years, we have tried many advent resources with our kids. And truth be told, this one is by far our favorite. This interactive family celebration of advent is something our children look forward to every night. We actually had to make a list of whose turn it was to hang the ornament on the pop-up tree because our kids were bickering over it last year. Ann Voskamp’s writing is beautiful and brief, so if you have little ones it will hold their attention better than others. We actually use it as the centerpiece on our dinner table during the holidays and prefer to read it at night during or after dinner. For those who are beginners at Advent, this is an excellent resource because it is easy to use, simple to understand, and beautifully displayed.  

2. The Jesus Storybook Bible

Our family loves the Jesus Storybook Bible and uses it throughout the year, but we also love using this Advent reading plan. There are activities for you to do if you’re going to use it as your main Advent resource. You can print your own ornaments from the link above, or there are also Jesus Storybook Bible advent ornaments on Etsy if, like me, crafting is not your strong suit. The tagline for this storybook Bible is that “Every story whispers His name,” and what a timely reminder during this holiday season.   

3. We Wonder: Advent

If books aren’t your thing, there is an excellent Advent podcast that we’ve been listening to on our way home from school pickup: We Wonder. Thus far they have been about 10-14 minutes each day. The narration is calm and slow and is the perfect way for our children to unwind from school. Having another opportunity, while on the go, to celebrate and learn about the story of our Messiah is a big win for our family during this busy season. This podcast is geared toward kids, but I have many friends tuning in who don’t have children. If you love tuning into podcasts, this Advent resource is for you.   

4. Kids Read Truth

The team from She Reads Truth create amazing resources for families year-round, but they truly outdo themselves with their Advent resources. They have conversations cards you can use with your kids, Advent Scripture ornaments, and a book called This is the Christmas Story, which is one of our favorites this time of year. But what we love most about their resources is that they have men’s and women’s Advent studies that accompany their children’s ones. It truly can be a whole family affair, or you can use the parts that serve you. And as always, their resources are beautiful and full of Scripture as they encourage your family to pursue biblical literacy.    

The first week of Advent is over, but it’s not too late to jump in. But whatever you decide, let me encourage you to create space in your family to intentionally focus on Jesus this season. There are opportunities all around us to celebrate his first coming and joyfully await his return.  

Merry Christmas!

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