YAAAHHOOO!! Christmas is upon us and I thought I’d do a round up of different ideas to help your family intentionally celebrate Christmas and Jesus’ coming!
It’s so easy to get lost in the hype of presents that your gaze shifts from the creator… to the created.
Keep this season simple though, don’t feel like you have to do all these, find what works for your family as you celebrate the CRAZY AWESOME event of Christ’s birth!
So without further ado, I give you:
- The Underachieving Mom’s Guide to Advent Free by Jordan Harrell
- Look for Jesus, Love Others Activity Calendar by Sarah Brooks
- Star from Afar (similar to Elf on the Shelf but better)
- The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp
- Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Guide
- Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (Daily advent book) by Ann Voskamp
- Wandering Wise Men
The Underachieving Mom’s Guide to Advent
My college friend Jordan is so talented and hilarious. I love her FREE CRAZY SIMPLE Advent Activity Guide she released last year! It’s a pdf that you can download to your phone or laptop or print it out and make into a cute book. Each day is either no or low-prep…. Um, can I get a Hallelujah?!
While you’re at it check out her blog, JordanHarrell.com, that has soooo many awesome and funny posts on family and marriage, each one of her posts come at just the right time and are spot on. With posts like: My Need for Control was Killing my Marriage and Faith and How to Raise Entitled Brats, you’re seriously going to want to follow her!
*Also if you know a coach’s wife, Jordan’s new blog, Friday Night Wives, is amazing.
Here’s a sample page that includes 2 days:
Look for Jesus, Love Others Activity Calendar
I have another very talented and hilarious college friend with a blog, Sarah, who’s recent post has four ways to reclaim Christmas. In it she shares her family’s Christmas motto “Look for Jesus and Love Others,” which I’m going to steal, and one way they live out their motto is with the below Advent Activity Calendar.
She writes, “Every day of December holds a family activity where we either look for Jesus or love others, ideally at the same time… Activities ranged from building a fire, to family movie night, to caroling at the nursing home, to baking cookies for the neighbors. The boys have remembered these activities much longer than the 1,823 piece LEGO set we spent their college fund on.”
Sarah’s blog, Life As Of Late, has me equally crying because I’m laughing so hard (her 3 young boys are always up to something) or pinning one of her parenting/social media posts to my parenting Pinterest board.
Star from Afar
(Think Elf on the Shelf but with a Star and Nativity)
Below is a precious description taken from their website
- Set up your nativity
- Hide the Star every night; once your children find the Star, move all Three Wise Men to its location
- Read the optional scripture
- On Christmas Eve place your Star on the top of your nativity stable
- On Christmas morning your Three Wise Men reach the nativity scene and find their king, baby Jesus!
- You can easily combine the “Star From Afar” with other traditions your family participates in. Consider placing a little surprise or sweet with your Star everyday to make this fun game more like an Advent Calendar.
Matthew 2:10 “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.”
Click here to order through Amazon (which also helps support this site at no additional cost to you. All orders are anonymous)
Click here to order through their website.
We don’t have this, but I love the idea.
The Wonder of the Greatest Gift:
An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent
The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp just came out this year and I love the idea. It’s a book that has a tree that folds up, advent windows to open and hang the ornament for each day’s reading, and a small daily reading book fits into a larger flap in the top left book so it’s all kept together.
We personally don’t own this one but it has definitely peaked my interest! I could see it being well suited for toddlers on up.
Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Printable
Most families have the Jesus Storybook Bible, but if you don’t, stop what you’re doing right now and get one- no seriously! I should also add that she has an adult version that has the exact same words as the Storybook Bible but without the pictures and would be a great gift for someone you know who’s a new believer.
Sorry, I digress…. I just learned that FaithGateway has a free download that has daily Advent readings and also has printable cards (to use as ornaments for a Jesse Tree or hang on a clothesline display) that correspond with the Jesus Storybook Bible.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift
We got this book (Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp) last year and it comes with a code for a free pdf download of the ornament pictures. We ended making our own advent disks from a tree limb that we had recently cut down.
It’s a sweet book but may be better suited for older preschoolers through elementary kids.
We stained the wood disks, cut out the pictures, mod podged them on the frong, and on the back wrote the day, the day’s title, and the Bible verse with a gold sharpie.
We’re still trying to figure out how we want to display each ornament. Maybe something like the below picture that we can also transform into a cross at Easter. Hang them from garland? On a special stand? Clothesline display? …. I’ll get back with ya 😉
Wandering Wise Men
My friend Fiona told me about another idea (similar to Elf on the Shelf) called Wandering Wise Men that I thought I’d share. I don’t personally have this set so I can’t speak for the content but I thought it was such a cute idea and worth a share 🙂
Click on the picture below to see a preview of the activity cards. I believe its $6 to download the activities.
Each morning you place/pose your wise men in a different spot and your children can search the house to find them. Then you can do the day’s simple activity from the set.
And after some googling, I found some cute ideas to
pose your wandering wise men 🙂
Have Christmas activities and traditions you love?
Email them to email@example.com!