How does your family celebrate Advent each year?
For many years I’d find all sorts of neat ideas for helping the kids learn more about this time of preparation and feel guilty that I never quite made any of them happen. Nowadays, though, I’ve found what works for us: keeping it simple. No more grand plans, just a couple neat traditions and no more guilt.
- The Advent Candle – it takes very little time and is super simple. I pack it away each year at the top of our Christmas decorations so that I can get to it easily on the years that Advent comes before our tree goes up. Whenever we’re having a family dinner, or at least on Sundays, we’ll light it and sing a different verse depending on the week:
Light One Candle… (Text and tune by Natalie Sleeth)
Light one candle for hope One bright candle for hope He brings Hope to every heart… He comes, He comes,
Light one candle for Peace One bright candle for Peace He brings Peace to every heart, He comes, He comes
Light one candle for Joy One bright candle for Joy, He brings Joy to every heart, He comes, He comes
Light one candle for Love One bright candle for Love He brings Love to every heart, He comes, He comes!
If you want to know the tune, you can watch this video, but it’s not great. It’s all I could find, though.
Our teenager isn’t too thrilled with this tradition, but the younger kids love it. 🙂
- A few years ago we started doing The Advent Event. Sometimes we’ll light the candle and do the prayers with it, and other times all we get to is the Advent coloring pages and a quick chat about what the picture represents. No guilt allowed, do the best you can.
- I came across this when I was Googling for something else today. It’s not in the budget this year, but next year I’m going to try to order mid-November; I think the kids would love it! LEGO® City Advent Calendar.
As parents we all want to raise faith-filled kids, and of course help them understand how to prepare their hearts to receive Jesus in a new way each year at Christmas, and each day for that matter; but if we’re all stressed out and ornery about everything that we didn’t implement perfectly, how does that help them grow in their faith? Again, just do the best you can and remember that keeping Advent fun and low-key will go much further in spreading the love of the coming Christmas season than all the best Advent activities ever could.
I’d love to hear about your favorite Advent traditions!