It’s a busy season. I like to slow down and worship amidst all the rushing and buying and visiting.
Advent is the beginning of the liturgical new year. It’s a time of light, cleaning our homes and hearts, preparing the way for Love.
Of all the seasons of the church year, Advent most closely mirrors the daily lives of Christians and of the church, asks the most important ethical questions, presents the most accurate picture of the human condition, and above all, orients us to the future of the God who will come again.Fleming Rutledge
How We Celebrate Advent
Advent activities and devotionals make the Christmas season special.
I love Advent. I didn’t grow up with these traditions, but we’re doing them as a family to make Christmas time more special than just presents, cookies, and ornaments.
We look forward to reading devotionals, worshiping, and singing praises morning and evening during the Advent season.
I love Bible studies that focus on Christ and His Coming. I love teaching my children about Advent. There are so many to choose from that I have to scale down. I can’t do them all and I don’t want to overwhelm my kids with too much. We read new ones each year to grow in our faith. I often read one of my own before bed.
- Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ by Fleming Rutledge
- Advent and Christmas with Thomas Merton
- Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen
- The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle
- WinterSong: Christmas Readings by Madeleine L’Engle
- Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation by Madeleine L’Engle
- Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent by Richard Rohr
- God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas
- Sermons for Advent and the Christmas Season
- Keep Watch with Me: An Advent Reader for Peacemakers by Claire Brown and Michael T. McRay
- Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany by Sarah Arthur
- The Journey by Adam Hamilton
- Shadow and Light: A Journey into Advent by Tsh Oxenreider
- Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-Us Then, Here, and Now by Scott Erickson
- The Women of Advent:…a gathering of scattered hearts, past and present by Sheila Atchley
- Underdogs and Outsiders: A Bible Study on the Untold Stories of Advent by Tom Fuerst
- All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings Beautiful illustrations and daily readings (also a book for Lent!)
- The Art of Advent: A Painting a Day from Advent to Epiphany by Jane Williams
- Wounded in Spirit: Advent Art and Meditations by David Bannon
- Low: An Honest Advent Devotional by John Pavlovitz
- Celtic Advent: 40 days of devotions to Christmas by David Cole
- Sister Wendy on the Art of Christmas
- We like to read aloud one of these books each year: Ytreeide Advent Stories
- An Advent Book of Days: Meeting the characters of Christmas by Gregory Cameron
- The Advent Storybook: 25 Bible Stories Showing Why Jesus Came by Laura Richie
- Anticipating His Arrival: A Family Guide through Advent by Rick Brannan
- The Way to the Manger: A Family Advent Devotional by Jeff Land
- 25 Days of the Christmas Story: An Advent Family Experience by Josh and Christi Straub
- ‘Twas the Season of Advent: Devotions and Stories for the Christmas Season by Glenys Nellist
- The Stories Behind the Music by Luke Gilkerson
- The First Songs of Christmas: An Advent Devotional by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
- Jesus, Light of the World: Praying the Scriptures through Advent by Candace Crabtree
- Christmas Is Coming! An Advent Book: Crafts, games, recipes, stories, and more!
Jesse Tree Resources
- The Advent Jesse Tree by Dean Lambert Smith
- The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean
- Frugal Fun 4 Boys
- Blessed Beyond a Doubt
- Catholic Inspired
- Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Catholic Icing
- Ann Voskamp
- I Should Be Mopping the Floor
- This Reading Mama
Candles and Wreath
Our family loves this simple Advent Wreath and we light it every Sunday during Advent. It stays on our dining table.
Acts of Kindness
We especially love our Advent house calendar with little strips of paper printed with offers of kindness.
The kids take turns reading them each morning and it really helps us all develop an attitude of servant leadership.
- Real Life at Home calendar options
- Advent blessings from Raising Arrows
- Also another list for a Giving House from 100 Days of Real Food
- A Little Pinch of Perfect 13 calendars
Homeschool Advent Printables:
- Fun Christmas printables for littles from 1+1+1=1
- Lots of holiday worksheets from Education.com
- Little Drummer Boy printables from Wildflower Ramblings
- Advent ornaments from Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Journeying the Way of Love Advent Curriculum
- The Very Best Day: The Way of Love for Children
- Advent and Saint Nicholas Festival eBook
- Wildflowers and Marbles Advent Calendar
- Birth of Jesus Grapevine Bible Study is fun for the whole family, with traceables for the little ones, stick figure drawings, and readings for the whole month of December and beyond.
Now that my kids are getting older, we find unique advent calendars online, even Etsy.
- Rocks, Fossils, Minerals
- arts and crafts
- bath items
- rubber duckies!
- Short Story Advent Calendar
- Funko Pop
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Official Advent Calendar: Ghoulish Delights
- Star Wars: The Galactic Advent Calendar: 25 Days of Surprises With Booklets, Trinkets, and More!
- Harry Potter: Holiday Magic: The Official Advent Calendar
- Disney: Storybook Collection Advent Calendar
- Home Alone: The Official AAAAAAdvent Calendar
- SOCKS! (Also Target and Kohl’s)
- My son loves these fun Lego Advent Calendars!
We do love the fun little chocolate calendars.
- Advent traditions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
- The history of the American Christmas tree.
- Celebrate St. Barbara on 4 December
- Celebrate St. Nicholas on 6 December
Though you may be wrapping gifts, planning special meals, and spending time with family and friends, I hope you will also take time to allow the Advent darkness to do its work as well.Richard Rohr