Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Christmas has changed a lot since I've had kids. Like virtually everything else in life, having kids gives you a totally different perspective on holidays. As I have watched my kids grow over the years, I have re-evaluated much of how I celebrate holidays, especially Christmas. I want the Christmas season to be fun, whimsical, and as glittery as my glitter hating husband will allow. But I also want the Christmas season to be focused on Christ. Since you are reading this post, we assume you also have that goal. Every family has to find their own way, but we want to try to make it easier on you! We are sharing some of our favorite Advent resources with you, check them out and let us know what you think.
Gathering Around the Advent Wreath
This is our own advent resource for you. Our kids love gathering together to have a little advent candle celebration before Sunday night dinners. This resource is really simple, but really fun! All you have to do is buy or make a simple advent wreath, print out the packet, and read from it with your family. Read about it and download the free printable packet here.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift
by Ann Voskamp
My daughter was gifted this book by her Godparents when she was dedicated. Ann Voskamp beautifully tells the story of God's family in order to best understand and celebrate Christmas. There are instructions for how to create a Jesse Tree with your family to learn about the lineage of Jesus and what it means for all of God's family. There is a reading, a matching ornament to hang on your own Jesse Tree, and an activity every day.
Purchase the book here.
Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Calendarby Sally Lloyd-Jones
We are huge fans of the Jesus Storybook Bible and with this free printable, you can download a whole month of Advent readings and activities straight from the book. In the packet, each day of December has a card that you print and cut out. The card has one chapter from the book assigned to it as a daily reading. Kids can color the card and hang it up on a clothes line, make an ornament, or tape it somewhere special.
Download the packet here.
Little Hearts, Prepare Him Roomby Holly Mackle
This is the first year that I am trying this devotional with my family, but I am really excited to see how it goes. It is published through the Presbyterian Church in America. Every day in December, there is a devotional to read with a Bible verse or two, a short reading, and a couple of questions. This devotional is designed to grow with your family, the questions you discuss remain the same, but the answers will change over time. I'm personally hoping to record our answers in a journal so we can re-read them year after year.
Purchase the book here.
The Giving Manger
by Allison Hottinger
This is also the first year that we are doing The Giving Manger with our family and I am so excited about it. We are looking for ways to teach our kids about giving year round, but it seems especially important during the Christmas season when there is so much focus on gifts and consumerism. When you receive your Giving Manger there is a book, a manger, a baby Jesus, and a bundle of straw. The concept is simple: read the book to your family and place a piece of straw in the manger for every act of service or kindness done. On Christmas Day, place baby Jesus in the manger that has been cushioned in love and giving.
Buy your own here.
Truth in the Tinsel
by Amanda White
We started this countdown to Christmas experience a few years back after I was inspired by hearing Amanda talk on my favorite podcast. This is the perfect advent resource for crafty moms of littles. Each day there is a devotional especially for kids and instructions to make an ornament for the tree. We loved making these and the kids hung their ornaments in their rooms on their own little trees and were able to use them to tell the Christmas story. This is more time consuming than our other resources, but so much fun!
Download the ebook here.
by Antonie Schneider
My kids and I have been reading this storybook for the last couple of years. It is perfect for little ones because the stories are short but sweet. This is a story about a little bear who encounters many miracles and special lessons on his way to Bethlehem to meet the baby Jesus. Each day the little bear learns something new about faith and about the real meaning of Christmas. We love snuggling up to read it. Sometimes we miss a day or two and we get to read several in a row once we remember.
You can buy the book here.
Happy reading and snuggling! What are your favorite advent storybooks and devotionals?