We are in the season of Advent! Christians around the world are celebrating this season by preparing their hearts for the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent is a season of waiting and anticipating the glorious birthday of our Lord.
At church each Sunday in Advent, we light a candle on the Advent wreath. There are five candles: three purple (which represent hope, love, and peace), one pink (which represents joy), and one white (which is the Christ candle and is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day).
Sometimes the only place we talk about Advent is at church. So what can you do to celebrate Advent every day with your family at home?
One great way is through a Family Advent Bag. This year I gave the families of my church one of these bags. This bag was filled with many fun things families could do together to keep their focus on Jesus. I found some of the ideas for the bag on this YouTube video by Shawn Howell: How to Make Advent To Go Bags for Families and others I created myself.
The bag included the following items. For a printable list, click here: Family Advent Bag List
Family Advent Calendar: Each day, between the first Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day, is filled with activities your family can do. These activities include things like: random act of kindness, taking a trip to look at Christmas lights, baking a birthday cake for Jesus and much more. (The calendar I created is for 2016, but can easily be done for this year by just following the date and not the day of the week). To see the calendar I created (for 2016), click here: Advent Calendar for Families
Advent Wreath Magnet: The most simple Advent wreath I found was magnetic! Families can stick it on their fridge and place new candles on it every Sunday. I bought these wreaths on the Living Grace website: Advent Wreath Magnet
Advent Devotions: I created four Advent devotions for families to use each Sunday in conjunction with the Advent wreath magnet. They will read together the devotion and place a candle on the wreath each week.
Christmas Morning Envelope: I wrote a letter for families to open first thing on Christmas morning. Before they open any presents, they should open the envelope and read the letter together. To see a copy of the letter, click here: Christmas Morning Envelope
Craft Ornament: I included an Oriental Trading Nativity craft in each bag. To find one for your family, visit their website: Oriental Trading
Glow Stick: Inside each bag I put one glow stick. I told families to break this stick on Christmas Eve and sing Silent Night with their family. This is a reminder that Jesus is the Light of the world.
Sticky Notes: I put a pack of sticky notes in each bag for families to use to write encouraging words to each other.
Christmas Prayer Cube: Living Grace makes a wooden Christmas prayer cube that I bought and put in the bags. On each colored side of the cube is written a prayer. Families can roll the cube and read the prayer together before meals. To see the cube go to this site: Christmas Prayer Cube
Faith 5 Bookmark: I wanted to give families a simple idea for a family devotion and I found a bookmark that highlighted a great way to do one. Faith 5 lists these steps for a family devotion: share highs and lows, read a Bible verse or story, talk about the Bible verse or story and how it can relate to your highs and lows, pray for one another’s highs and lows, and bless each other. To see their website and to get a copy of the bookmark, click here: Faith 5 Bookmark
Jesus’ Birthday Cake: I have no idea where I got this recipe, but it was given to me back at the beginning of my ministry career. Each layer of this cake represents something. To see a copy of this recipe click here: Jesus Birthday Cake
This Family Advent Bag has been a hit with the kids and their parents at our church! I love hearing the stories of how their family is excited to celebrate Advent! Feel free to use the printables from this post to create your own Family Advent bag.
Want more ideas for your family Christmas? Check out my post on 30 Ideas for a Christ-Centered Family Christmas!