Updated for 2015!
To most adults Advent means:
Ready or not, here comes Christmas.
But to a child, Advent should be called:
hurry up and wait!
What child doesn’t have difficulty waiting for Christmas!
It probably won’t do any good to tell your vigilant kids about how people, two thousand plus years ago (when Jesus was born) had been waiting a long, long time. They had waited for the coming of Christ for hundreds of years! Can’t our kids wait a few more weeks?
Make use of your Advent waiting time.
Here are ideas and resources for
- Encourage various ways of telling the Christmas story; how about using a crèche? (Also known as a “manager scene.”) Is yours off-limits to the kids? Regardless, get everyone involved in making a version that children can play with. And tell the story over and over! Use air-drying clay or Scrap Box stuff or even toilet paper tubes dressed in fabric. Move Mary and Joseph around the room. Anyone for a trip to Bethlehem? Create a shepherds scene in another part of the house. Where should the wise men go?
- Got a LEGO®-maniac in your house? Make the figures for a nativity scene from LEGO® bricks. Camels, Sheep, a Holy Family, and more! Visit this site for building instructions.
- Another way to “tell” the story: act it out. Get creative with props and costumes: a flash light becomes the star that guided wise men, a bath robe makes an on-the-spot shepherd.
- Get into the RACK act! RACK is “Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.” How fun! Do one a day or a bunch all at once. Can you sense the surprise pleasure in finding a quarter stuck to a vending machine or a candy cane on the ATM?
- Want your kids to be more grateful? It needs to be taught! Consider these ideas or this list, for ways to teach gratitude. (Liking this idea: Pin up a long piece of paper and record gifts you already have!) Or, continue filling up your family blessing box!
- Have lots of Christmas (or winter) story books? Have the kids wrap them and tag them with the date. As part of your bedtime routine, read the storybook-of-the-day. You can make this idea “Advent-y” by adding a Bible verse with each book. Talk about the verse and what it means to you. (Print out a set of possible verses here.)
Christmas will be here before you know it!
Bizarre children? by SMN, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Holy Family from LEGO® bricks, by Leo Dorst. Reproduced by permission. (Yes! I asked!)
RACK card from Tracie. Used with permission.
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