Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent--You are Here!

I really enjoy this time of year. The concentrated focus on Jesus does my heart such good. Oh, to keep that focus all year long. For several years, we've celebrated Advent as a family. Each year we seem to add a little something and this year, we've added two little somethings. :) You can see below what we do, and please, leave a comment and share how you celebrate Jesus' birth.

First, a good couple article by Noel Piper on Advent can be found here. She's written several more that pertain to Advent (use the "search" feature to find them.)

Ann Voskamp has written a lovely thoughtful devotional called Jesse Tree Advent Family Devotional. Last year, I printed out the ornaments, mounted them on card stock paper, hole punched and threaded a ribbon through each one. We usually read this devotional at lunch time and the younger kids take turns hanging the ornament on the tree.

This year I found "Truth in the Tinsel" This fun Advent devotional is geared more toward younger children and will work well with the little girl I babysit. She is four. My two younger kids (ages 6 and 9) are doing it too and enjoy making crafts. I found this great printable from Mama Jenn that has added a curiosity factor for them.

Lastly, we've decided on lots of fun "random acts of kindness" based on this idea from Lil Light O' Mine. We read through all the ideas and have a whole pile of ones we are praying that we are able to do. We are so excited! Today the younger two kids and I tied ribbon and a little message on to the candy canes. My little 6 year old has given two of them away already! One to mom of the little girl I babysit and the other to a HVAC service man. {I love my kids!}

12 Days before Christmas we will start Adornaments that we received years ago from a sweet friend. They were sold by Family Life Today, however I don't know if they still sell them. Each day you read about a different name of Jesus and there is an ornament that you hang on the tree. There is also a CD with a song that goes along with the name of Jesus. We've enjoyed this devotional for years.

Our church is celebrating Advent too, so it's wonderful reinforcement for the kids. The message on Sunday was on hope and was very powerful. We have hope in Christ!

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