Not all Christian families are familiar with Advent, but it is a special season and a great time to strengthen faith with your family. If you’ve never celebrated Advent before, consider these activities to make it part of your Christmas traditions.
Make an Advent Calendar
An Advent calendar counts down the days from December 1 to 25. Each day, the family does the activity listed on one square. Calendars can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Some families cover each square with paper flaps; others simply write in activities. Other calendars use numbered gift tags or special ornaments to herald each day.
Play Santa Claus
Many Advent calendars have pouches that families fill with candy, nuts, and other treats. For a spin on this idea, put each family member’s name in its own pouch (for a small family, you can repeat names). When a person’s name is drawn, he or she chooses the major Christmas activity for that day, such as watching a particular movie or going caroling. Encourage family members to draw each other’s names and play St. Nick by doing good deeds for the person whose name they draw.
Small manila envelopes can be filled with Advent gifts, such as candy, chewing gum, school supplies, or tiny toys. Avoid toys with small removable parts; choose cloth dolls, wooden blocks, or rubber balls instead.
For each day of Advent, read a verse, prayer, or part of the liturgy from your denomination. The Christmas story is a place to start, but verses can be gleaned from across the Bible.