Picnics with peacocks, presents and parties! Half term break was a good one. We went away to one of our familiar holiday lets, and enjoyed a slower pace for a week of pottering and walking, eating and playing. Sleep was awful, still all the usual family dynamics and stresses plus the transition into and out of the week but as these things go it was a good one! And we’re nearly the other side of the autumn family birthdays… one belated horse themed party tomorrow still to enjoy and then we start thinking advent!
Do you make plans to mark advent as a family?
For us, times like this can be very hit & miss and we don’t always achieve the picture perfect social media effect. Isn’t it hard to look at ideas thinking ‘I’d love to, but…’ – comparisons are not a good thing. Lets face it every family is unique, with unique skills and interests and dynamics. We all shape our days, weeks and seasons around those – and the wonder of the truth of Advent and Christmas is that God came into the heart of that – into each unique home that will welcome him whatever it’s unique culture looks and feels like. I am encouraged by the thought that our advent, our preparation for Christmas, can have that truth woven through the muddle and mess – the chaos that so often comes from trying to intentionally remember the stories together in tangible ways.
I have posted a number of times about this challenge – this opportunity, should I say this privilege! So you may find these posts interesting.
This year I wondered if, like me, you’d be pleased to find a list of easy, adaptable advent ideas for families all in one place. There are so many out there, put together and thought up, and illustrated by so many wonderful creative people and these are ones I love:
- follow the star – hide the star somewhere in the house each day of advent, find it & read the verse for that day. On the last day find it at the nativity scene.
- the giving manger – I love the concept of adding straw to the manger every time you’ve served or loved someone during advent, so as to fill the manger with love to welcome Jesus.
- names of Jesus – printable bauble ornaments each decorated with a name of Jesus. Can be coloured and hung during advent, either on a DIY tree, or strung up like bunting.
- advent prayer – a lovely prayer with actions for littlies that could be used with an advent wreath or advent crown.
- reverse advent calendar – instead of getting something every day this is a simple way of giving instead.
- a verse a day – beautifully illustrated, quick to read verses from the Bible free to print out and tuck into an existing advent calendar or to take out of a treasure box on the tea table when you can throughout advent.
- kindness elves – or acts of random Christmas kindness are another way to focus on giving rather than getting, and to talking together about serving and loving like Jesus.
- Devotions using ‘The Jesus storybook Bible’ – we absolutely love this book, and these free advent printables help make this easy. Good for snuggling on the sofa or just before bed with little ones throughout advent.
- Jesse tree ornaments with readings from ‘The Action Bible’
- Jesse tree with lego challenges although I suspect we would turn the suggested order on its head and begin with the lego and slip the readings and Jesse tree bits in while hands are busy.