I am a mom of 2 very busy toddlers and Christmas is the very best time of the year for me. I love the cold winter air, the warm drinks, the bundling up in cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks and all of that goodness. I love how the city lights up and people seem to be more kind. I do not enjoy the extra traffic or the extra crowds but that does not take away from the extra love in the air this time of year.
For our family, we want Christmas to be less about shopping lists and more about Jesus. We want our children to grow up with fond memories and traditions established during this season and not vague memories of a grumpy mom trying to keep the house clean, and get all the shopping done to “celebrate” Christmas. I am ALSO the mom that wants to do all the Christmas and winter things with my children. So no matter where you fall in the spectrum of Christmas celebrations, this is a judgement free zone. (We love Santa here too)
This year I asked myself how can we celebrate Advent in the midst of potty training, crafts, baking, adventures, you know … all the things and our day-to-day life of work and house chores. I want to engage and immerse my children in the Christmas story at their level of understanding without just adding something else to check off our “Christmas to-do list”.
What is Advent?
The definition of advent is pretty straightforward. Get excited! JESUS IS COMING!
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of “the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!
- the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.
- The first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
- The coming or second coming of Christ.
I came across this video last year and thought it was a quick and helpful way to describe the intention of Advent (in 2 minutes).
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
My daughter is 4 years old. She loves twirling, singing and creating works of art with her hands. This week she brought her little girl’s bible to the kitchen table. I asked her what she was doing. She replied, “I need this book mommy. I am going to write a Christmas song and this book is all about Christmas.”
Isn’t that the truth. From the beginning of time to the coming of age. It is all about Jesus.
As I held back my tears of joy, I knew at that very moment Advent is an important tradition that will help frame the foundation of the faith of my children.
So is Advent right for you and your family? Begin by asking yourself, what is your WHY? How can you impart the true Christmas story into your children at their level of understanding this holiday season? It is not about the perfect ideas, storytelling or crafts. It is all about slowing down to share Jesus with your children or even let them share the story with you. Perfection is not needed, only a willing heart to share the true reason for this season.
There are 4 themes to celebrate and share during Advent.
- Week 1: Hope (Story Idea: Mary is visited by the Angel who brings news of Hope for all mankind)
- Week 2: Love (Story Idea: Jesus is born, God’s love for us through this gentle baby and quiet scene)
- Week 3: Joy with the PINK candle (Story Idea: Happy Birthday Jesus, The Angels sing as the Shepards look on. Heaven is our inheritance because of Jesus)
- Week 4: Peace (Story Idea: Jesus is our prince of peace. Our trust in Him and salvation can give us peace in all things)
If you need some ideas, check out our post from last year where we share how to tell the story of the Nativity during the 12 Days of Christmas. Each of these themes can we woven into the Navity scene and story.
With Love and Blessings this Christmas,