This week we will be sharing with you how we will be “Celebrating Jesus in Advent” during this Christmas Season. We want to encourage and equip you in making memories with your loved ones that will last a lifetime without the stress connected with frantic shopping, baking, and visiting with loved ones. We hope and pray that this will cause you to be blessed at home as we encourage your family to Celebrate Jesus in Advent this year.
Tauna M. over at Proverbial Homemaker
Tauna loves her family and loves God. She has been married for 7 years and has 4 young children. She writes at Proverbial Homemaker, so named because, as she says, “me becoming a wife, mom, and homemaker proves that anything is possible with God.”
My kids are all still young – 6 and under. I have had a few years where I have tried to do lots of advent activities, schedules, etc. I always end up overwhelmed, dropping the ball, or even downright cranky. Our focus ends up being more about ourselves or on doing as much as possible instead of truly on Jesus. That’s not how it’s suppose to be!
Advent is about holy anticipation. It’s celebrating what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He will do. Half the effort for me during advent is to slow down from normal activity while spending time doing things that pull us close to the heart of God. That means LESS activity overall. In order to create a holiday season that is purposeful, reflective, and memorable, life must slow enough to create breathing room and rest.
At the same time, meaningful activity is important as well to focus our hearts and minds on Christ. In a quieted atmosphere (at least, as quiet as a household of 7 can get) our advent activities center us where we belong. We have settled into using the Jesse Tree for daily devotions. We follow as Jesus Storybook Bible schedule of readings that corresponds to the Jesse Tree ornaments, telling the story of Jesus from Genesis to Bethlehem. We participate in church advent services and we spend more time worshiping as the Spirit moves us. We keep it simple.
For fun additional activities, I set up two jars: the kid jar and the mom jar. The kids can pick an activity from the kid jar ever day. They are all easy for me to pull together on a whim, such as watching a Christmas movie, doing a simple craft, or writing letters. The Mom jar is one I can draw from when my motivation and energy are up to the task. It includes things like making cookies, messy art projects, and excursions.
It can be so tempting to look at all the shiny fun advent activities and think we have to do them. Advent should be about anticipating and celebrating Christ as a family.
What are you doing to stay focused on Jesus this season?
Judith Kowles over at WholeHearted Home
The furthest thing from the mind of most folks at Christmas is Jesus. We have secularized this holy season to the point where Christ is not even mentioned as we rush from store to store, frantically searching for just the right gift.
When the glitz of the Santa draws so strong on our children’s hearts, how can we capture their focus so they learn the meaning of what Christmas is all about?
How can we embrace Christmas and find ways to share Jesus with our children so they know why He was born in a lowly stable and openly share our anticipation for His imminent second coming in a world that has rejected their God and King.
The foundation for Jesus coming to earth as a baby started back in Genesis. Without our children understanding the Fall and how sin entered into the world, they will not fully understand that they sinned too and realize their need for a Savior.
We always read Luke 2:8-14 before opening gifts on Christmas. That is good but that isn’t enough! By that time our children’s anticipation was so great that they hardly listened to the bible verses as their thoughts raced restlessly to the presents.
Why not take the whole 21 days before Christmas to read selections starting in Genesis to recap the Redemptive story of Salvation? Chances are some of your children have not heard it yet. Not that you never read it before but their hearts are not always receptive and are in the habit of ‘tuning you out!’
My children are grown (pretty much) and yet, I am so thoroughly enjoying Advent this year. I am reading selections from a couple studies (one that I did last year) and another that focuses on starting in Genesis. I love mixing up the two.
Don’t be afraid of doing an Advent study with your children that seems to go above their heads or doesn’t seem to capture their interest. That is partly because their hearts might not yet be ready to accept the Lord Jesus as Savior. Keep reading to them. Keep exposing them to activities while you express your anticipation of the birth of Jesus and His return. Don’t waste time. He IS coming soon!!
When is your child old enough for an Advent study? Well, I read to my oldest since he was 4 months old and the others were captive audiences of what the older two were learning. I have been reading the Advent bible verses to my 10 month old twin grandbabies. They don’t understand? Probably not. But God’s Word doesn’t return void and God’s Spirit is IN His Word. It effects their little spirits. If I think they are ‘too young’ when will ‘old enough’ start?! I may never get around to it!! They may not be with me and this is the opportunity God has given me. God has given you an opportunity too. Today!
Let your children experience your anticipation and excitement of Jesus this season. He is the Light and will guide you in how to go about doing Celebrating Jesus in Advent this year.
Misty Leask over at Simply Helping Him
Last year was the first time we actually participated in observing Advent. It was a new concept for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Jesse Tree study we used from Ann Voskamp. While I enjoyed the study, it seems that my kiddos don’t even really remember it very much.
This year I am excited to be using a new Advent study that a fellow blogger created, “Celebrate Jesus: Light of the World”. This will be the study that we do as a family in the evenings. The kiddos will also be using, ”My Christmas Wish: A Devotional Prayer Journal for Kids” in the morning for their personal devotions.
I am determined and very excited to make this Christmas more focused on Christ than last year. I believe it is so important that our children know that Christmas is so much more than the twinkling lights on the tree, the ornaments hung prettily and the presents so sparkly.
May your CHRISTmas be focused on the Savior who came as a babe long ago, and whom we wait for now anticipating His second coming!
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