Christmas decorations start going up in many stores in October or earlier, so how is it that many families get a late start with their Advent devotions? I think it’s precisely because Christmas decorations start going up so early. We roll our eyes and think, There’s plenty of time. But the fall is usually a busy school season. Before you know it, you find yourself paging through grocery store fliers to find the best turkey sales for Thanksgiving. You bump into a friend in the checkout isle and they tell you share how excited they are to begin their new Advent devotional with their family on Sunday. “Wonderful!” you answer, but quietly you realize it’s too late to order a book and get it for Sunday. “Oh well, there’s always next year,” you say quietly to yourself as you heave the large frozen turkey onto the belt.
Well, I’ve got good news for you! If you are reading this article, there is plenty of time to get ready for Christmas this year! You can be the one that shares with your friends how excited you are to begin an Advent devotional! Here are a few tips for you as you consider starting an advent tradition with your family.
- Advent begins Sunday, November 28th this year. If you are starting a family devotional for Advent, read it with your family after lunch on this day.
- You can pick up an inexpensive Advent wreath now. A quick online search will yield several options. If you plan to add the lighting of the Advent wreath to your celebration, light the first candle when you begin your first devotion. Light an additional candle each of the four weeks of Advent.
- Advent calendars are fun for small children. Take advantage of the many varieties you can purchase online. Get a traditional calendar that celebrates Jesus’s birthday or draw your kids’ interest with one that provides a chocolate surprise behind a perforated door as you count down to Christmas. Remember, you want to keep them in the game as you read from the devotions.
- Create your own family traditions to mark the Advent season. You can plan for a special meal to start your advent celebration. If your kids’ favorite is spaghetti or mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets, mark the day with their favorite meal and dessert. Even something as simple as a special meal, repeated year after year can make the Advent season one you will look forward to celebrating for many years to come.
Finally, end your Advent season by reading through the Christmas story before you open gifts on Christmas morning. The whole story is only the first twenty verses in the second chapter of Luke. You can read it in a few minutes and pray as a family before the mayhem of gift opening begins.
PREPARE HIM ROOM: CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF JESUS FAMILY DEVOTIONAL
Guide kids and their families into the heart of Christmas with this gospel-focused, four-week Advent curriculum. Prepare Him Room by children’s best-selling author Marty Machowski takes a biblical, theological approach to the Old Testament promises and New Testament fulfillment in Christ in a way kids can understand.
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