Advent Addict

I love the season of Advent.  I love doing Advent calendars as I have really good memories growing up of doing Advent devotionals and an Advent wreath as a family.  I want those same memories for my children.  I want the focus of Christmas to be on Christ.  I want the opportunity for family discussions about our the history and the people of our faith.  I want to make sure that we are focusing daily (or almost daily - sometimes we double up when we skip a day or two!) on Jesus and the coming of the King.  There is a building anticipation for Christmas as we daily (almost!) do our Advent calendars.    

Apparently, I really like Advent calendars - I realized we are doing several ones each day!

Here are the Advent calendars we are doing this year:

 I ordered this from Ann Voskamp & love it!  It is carved by hand by her teenage son.  I first saw it on her blog last Easter and really wanted it then.  I love how it incorporates both the birth of the Savior and the days leading to his death and Resurrection in the same piece.   For Christmas we use Mary pregnant with Jesus on the donkey.
For Lent, we will use Jesus carrying the cross along with the extension piece for the ring.  
There is even an additional extension piece for continuing through the Ascension.
 We try to do this one just before bed.  We light the candle and read a short devotional.  I've used Ann Voskamp's free download of the Jesse Tree.  Those are just a little abstract though for the age of my kids.  (Although her writing?  Love.)  I also found another Jesse Tree Advent series online that I have used too.  So basically, we mix it up.  But it works for the ages of our kids and we try to keep it simple with the focus on the gift of the Savior and what led to His coming.

Hanging on my pantry door is the Fisher Price Advent calendar.  I love this because it is soft and child friendly.  Both of my kids enjoy taking the various characters out of their pockets and setting up the Nativity scene.  Basically, this is never on the right day as Will loves having everyone out and in the scene.  And I love that it keeps them busy.

This year, I was included in a group of 24 girls to put together ornaments for "A Meaningful Christmas."  The concept is very similar to the Jesse Tree.  It is written by Brittney Poe  & Carrie Rogers.  I knew Brittney from my sorority at Baylor.  If you do this, find 23 other friends to do it as then you can each make 24 of the same kind of ornament - saving you money and time and creativity!  Each of us was assigned an ornament.  I was assigned "Trinity."  Ya'll.  That is hard.  I went through lots of designs before accepting that this was a lesson in crafting humility for me.  
After each person makes 24 of their assigned ornament, you get to have a girls night out party & exchange ornaments so that everyone ends up with 24 different ornaments  - and you only have to do the work for one!  Genius!
We usually do this at a meal time.  I keep it on the kitchen table and we will read the very short devotional.  Each has a scripture passage, review questions, and an application.  Will likes going on a treasure hunt in the box to find the day's ornament which we are hanging on a string in our window.  These are very kid friendly - perfect for a preschooler.
One of the application days had us writing "Immanuel" on the hand.  Will wanted it on his arm.  And his thigh.  It was a good teaching point to remind him all day of "Immanuel:  God with us."
Tonight, we were supposed to be wise men looking for the baby under the star.  Will loved this.  He played it over and over.  Ellie took a turn too and would scoot around the living room searching for her baby doll.  Perfect for little kids!

And those are the advent calendars we are using this holy season in our family.
Do you have a favorite?

1 thoughts:

Miles said...

Hey Katie we are doing A Meaningful Christmas too! The boys are loving it. I share your love for all things Advent :)


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