Last time, I mentioned I have advent calendars on my brain. I admit we often resort to the cheesy foil wrapped countdowns, though we have had Playmobil, Lego, Lindor Chocolate and Body Shop (that one was a treat for me) calendars in the past. Even the cheap-o ones can be fun, especially when they’re Star Wars themed.
Having said that, we do have some other traditions that are precursors to Christmas morning. Years ago, before the Elf on the Shelf mega-craze, we had the Christmas hamster–a cute little stuffie with a festive Santa hat. He would hide each night (or early in the morning, if momma was forgetful) and the littles would race to find him. Sometimes, he was found in the midst of some silly shenanigans. We also had a basket of special Christmas-themed books that only appeared in December to snuggle up with in the evenings or a quiet afternoon. These sentimental treasures still make an appearance at Christmas time, though my littles aren’t quite so little anymore.
Some customs carry on. As part of our homeschool day, we also began with a reading plan that tells the story of that special event we celebrate at Christmas: our Saviour coming to where we are, God becoming man, His plan of redemption put into action. We have done many different ones through the years. We’ve adorned some festive branches with the names of Jesus printed on ornaments that the kids have decorated. We’ve read plans that I’ve found online (like this one from The 36th Avenue and this one from Redbird Blue) and ones I’ve made; sometimes journaling our thoughts, sometimes colouring, and sometimes not. Here’s a sampling of my Christmas journals.
I’ve thought about a Jesse Tree, but never quite got around to it while the children were young. There are lots of ideas on the internet to get you going. Kelleigh Ratzlaff and Keeping Life Creative each had their own take on this. At Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, we are inspired to make some intricate Jesse Tree decorations for an ornament exchange. It sounds so fun and sweet; I may just need to do this some time for a church event!
However, there are a plethora of online reading plans to choose from; I’m positive you can find one to suit your needs, whether for your littles, your older children or yourself.
Printable Advent Reading Plan from Not Consumed
Advent Reading Plan from Hello Mornings
Advent Reading Plan from Biblical Foundations
Advent Reading Plan from Hamilton Road Baptist Church
Our Daily Bread: Hope of Christmas from Bible.com
Wonders of His Love: An Advent Reading Plan from Living Free Indeed
I know it’s a little early for some to start thinking Christmas, but I like to ‘be prepared’ (did you say that in the voice of the goat on Hoodwinked? Listen to the “Be Prepared” song). Most of all, in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation, I don’t want to forget the message of Christmas: the King of Heaven come to earth to redeem His people.
May you be blessed as you look to the Word this Christmas season.