I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are entering what I believe to be the best time of the year!
Christmas has become so commercialized. I never want our kids to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. Years ago, I implemented a Christmas tradition of doing an ADVENT activity every day in the season. All of these activities tied back into the real meaning of Christmas.
In 2017, Advent officially starts December 3rd. However, you can start these activities whenever you'd like. And don't overwhelm yourself...pick and choose as you go.
Have you ever wondered why we get 3 gifts at Christmas in our house?
Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The wise men brought Jesus three gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). You both will be receiving three gifts this year from Santa just like Jesus got three gifts.
John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."
Jesus is the Light of the World – lights shine when it is dark and help us to see and find our way. Many people decorate their houses at Christmas with lights making them shine in the dark! Tonight we are going to drive to look at lights..
Jesus’ Birthday Party
Today we will have a birthday party for Jesus. We will eat cupcakes for our celebration.
St Augustine Aquarium
Jesus and God performed many miracles. M was reminded of God parting the waters in the Old Testament and Jesus walking on water in the New Testament. He has picked a family trip for us to go to the Aquarium.
Candy Cane Bombing
For several years, we’ve had a day in advent where we did Random Acts of Kindness. We always want you to be thinking of ways to be kind to others.
Today we are going to do a little something different. We are going candy cane bombing! We need to make the cards and then deliver them while we are out. And remember, if you see a way we could help someone or do a random act of kindness, tell us! Here is the link to the cards.
Bell Ringing with the Salvation Army
Mary and Joseph did not have a lot of things. When they came to Bethlehem they needed a place to stay and food to eat. Someone was kind enough to give them a place to stay in their barn where the animals were kept so Jesus could be born.
God loves everyone in the world and wants us to love each other too. Advent is a time for us to think about other people – how we can care for others. Today we are going to ring a bell and collect money for people who don’t have places to stay or food to eat. We are going to give our time to help people that God loves.
Go get a baggie and put some of your own money in it to take to put in the bucket. This money will help others in time of need.
Ronald McDonald House or Nursing Home or Hospital
Today we will visit XX. People need cheering, especially in the holiday season. May we go and be a blessing to others.
Build Your Faith In God
Christmas may be fun, but it also helps us build our faith in God. As a fun way to remember this, we will build candy canes out of blocks (foam blocks purchased from Hobby Lobby).
Friends and Santa
Friends are special. We are blessed because many of our neighbors are our very good friends. Remember Jesus is your friend too. That’s another name for God: Friend. Tonight we will go to dinner with our friends and then to neighborhood clubhouse to celebrate Christmas. We will see Santa and do some activities that the neighborhood has planned. It will be an exciting time. Remember Christmas is about the excitement of the birth of Jesus.
Even though Christmas is a very exciting time, we never want to lose sight of the REAL meaning of Christmas. We will go to a church to experience their Bethlehem tonight.
Thank You Basket
We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season! Christmas is NOT about receiving. Let’s take some time this advent season to thank others. We are going to set out a basket filled with a stash of snacks. We will leave this basket on our front porch for the mailman, the UPS man, or someone else who you think needs a good thank you!
Family Game Night
Everyone has a part in making the family happy. Everyone in our family will be happier if each person does his or her part.
Wives follow the lead of your husbands. That’s what the Lord wants. Husbands, love your wives. Don’t be mean to them. Children, obey your parents in everything. That pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:18-20
Christmas is a time to spend together with our family. Today we will play game and spend time together as a family.
Bethlehem was where Jesus was born. It was a small town and its name means “City of Bread.” No one really knows why it is named that, but maybe at one time the town was famous for its bread.
Over the years, people laughed a lot and did many fun things in Bethlehem. Think about David and his seven brothers, or Jesus and his brothers and sisters. I’m sure they laughed and had lots of fun there in Bethlehem. Today we are going to make gingerbread houses.
In John 6:35 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
Random Acts of Kindness
Today we will do R.A.C.K.(Random Acts of Christmas Kindness). We will be making people happy by doing small, nice things to them. IDEAS:
- Print out RedBox coupon codes ahead of time and then tape them on the RedBox. Free movies for people!
- Tape quarters to vending machines.
- Take cookies to the fire station.
- Collect carts from a busy parking lot.
- Pay for a table while we are eating lunch.
- Coffee and donuts downtown to homeless
- Hide bubbles at the park for kids to find. ***Whatever you do, leave a note reminding someone of God’s love.
Read the book Santa’s Prayer
In the midst of Christmas songs, Santa, lights and parties, it is easy to forget why we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate the birth of Jesus, our friend, Lord and Savior! Today we will read, Santa’s Christmas Prayer, a story where Santa remembers the reason for the season!
Pray for your teachers
Christmas is almost here! It’s only a few days away now! Everyone is looking forward to our break. These breaks from school are a time for all of us to re-energize. Your teachers need the break to re-energize as well. Today, say a prayer for your teacher. Ask God to help her have a restful break. Ask God to take care of his/her needs.
Candy Cane Making
Today we will go to a local candy store to make candy canes. We will be going with friends and having a good time with them. Remember the candy cane represents Jesus.
Cane shape - like the staff a shepherd uses
Red - Jesus’ blood
White - Our sins being forgiven
Upside down, it makes the letter J for Jesus
Christmas Cookie Decorating
A tradition Mommy had was to decorate Christmas cookies. Today we will decorate cookies to continue the tradition.
Coke and Mentos
“It’s coming.” “It’s coming.” “Soon, real soon.” “What’s coming?”
Years ago the people of Israel waited for the Messiah, a King who would save them. You’ve been waiting too. The people of Israel waited for hundreds of years. After hundreds of years, the King was coming! A King who would bring hope, joy, peace, light, and love the world. At Christmastime, we celebrate the coming of this King. His name is Jesus.
Our excitement is like a bottle of soda. The excitement flows and bubbles over. We are going outside to watch this bottle of soda. This is like our excitement coming out to tell others the good news of Jesus!!
We know we do this every year…but it’s a good reminder of what the Love of Jesus that is spilling over for us and others looks like. It goes everywhere…it can’t be contained.
Announcing Jesus on December 24th
Today is the last day of Advent! Our waiting is almost over! When you were born, we wanted to tell everyone of your arrival. Today we will go to church for a very special Christmas Eve worship service! We will sing and celebrate together about the birth of Jesus!