Friday, December 2, 2011

How We're Adventing

Our family has always used Advent calendars. They've come in different forms: chocolates, an adorable wooden countdown, and Monday Grace brought home the staple ring tearaway from school.

While I have always loved Advent countdowns because they help control the overwhelming excitement kids feel as Christmas approaches, this year we saught to make Advent about more than how many days are left until Christmas. This year we wanted to dig into the true spirit of Christmas and live the story so that when Christmas arrives we can celebrate the completion of a journey we've been experiencing all month long.

To do this, my husband and I used a desire we heard expressed from the kids as our springboard. Apparently last year we had candy canes on the tree. Although we didn't remember this, both of the older girls did and they wished to have them back. What kid wouldn't?! So, I went to the store and picked up candy canes, which, by the way, now come in a million different flavors. They love Smarties so I selected those and went home for a date night of sorts with my hubby.

With the kids in bed, we gathered Christmas paper and the Bible. Writing one verse from the story of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:1-20) on each piece of paper, we attached the note with ribbon and a number to each candy cane. Obviously there are more than 20 days to Advent, so the first candy cane's note explained what we were doing and that Jesus came as a baby because He loved them so much. Once all twenty verses are done, we wrote a couple discussion questions and we will end on Christmas with a note that says "Merry Christmas. Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus."

Yesterday the girls woke up SUPER EXCITED. Grace turned the calendar page and immediately broke out in "Christmas is coming. Christmas is coming. I can't wait!" Hannah joined in the excitement... and then they noticed the tree. At first they were simply excited to see the return of candy canes, especially ones that had pink in them. :) But, when we explained that there would be something special on each note the joy escalated.

Last night at supper they got to find their first candy cane. Grace, who is six, read the note and asked to read each of the Scripture verses/notes for the rest of Advent. Melt my heart. This mama finds little voices reading the Word of the Lord EXTREMELY precious. We can't wait to feel the story all month long.

We will still use the adorable wooden countdown and Grace's paper paper tear away. Reminders all over all a good thing in a house with wee ones. But, getting into the true spirit of Christmas this Advent is going to be a blessed experience. I can already sense it.

Do you do anything unique for Advent? I'd love to hear about it!


  1. Scripture and candy seems like a winning combination for me. Thanks for sharing your little tradition. We've had an Advent wreath out most years, as that helps remind me of what's coming, but I like the practice of reading scripture together each day. I have an Advent devotional that may make for a good read after dinner... Hmm. Now you've me thinking.

  2. What a fun and meaningful way to celebrate Advent. I love the idea of the candy canes!


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