Celebrating Advent during the week as a family can be a great way to augment our celebrations on the weekends as a church. Here are two ways to celebrate Advent as a family this year:
1. Advent Wreath Stories
This is a resource created by Aaron Lindloff, a leader at Peace of Christ Church in Westmont, Illinois (a partner church of The Table). It’s a series of stories that parents can walk through with their children, along with tactile elements (figurines and boxes for “acting out” the story you’re hearing).
There are five stories per week of Advent, designed to be told after the sun goes down, around the Advent wreath, lighting the candles as you tell the stories.
2. Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Reading
The Jesus Storybook Bible is a beautifully-illustrated children’s Bible where each story points toward Jesus. The reason it’s an interesting idea for Advent is that it contains 21 stories from the Old Testament and 3 from the New Testament that lead up to the birth of Christ.
So if you’re counting, that’s 24 days of stories you can read during December, leading up to the birth of Christ story on December 25.
3. Spiritual Disciplines Advent Calendar
This one is from our friends at Christ the King Anglican Church in Fayetteville, Alabama. It’s an Advent calendar with a family-oriented spiritual discipline to practice each day.
Each practice is family-oriented and is directed either upward (abiding in Christ), inward (life together) or outward (life on mission). Some practices involve more planning than others, but all the practices are simple and personal.
These practices are not just “things to do” to check off our list, but ways of opening our heart for the Spirit’s work. God is already at work among us, so in these practices we are learning to notice and receive Emmanuel.