Our family love advent. We love sharing together and focusing on the real meaning of Christmas. We find that being purposeful at this time helps us get through the craziness of the Christmas season and helps us avoid being caught up in Santa and the commercialism that often surrounds this season.
This year during Advent, each night we will read a chapter of the Jesus Story Book Bible and have a symbol that matches our story to hang on the tree.
Before I show you our ornaments (which were inspired by a good friend of mine—thanks Amy), here is just a little bit about Advent:
Advent just means “coming.”
God came to us in Jesus, we remember. He lived the good life we don’t live, died the death our sins deserve, rose again in his vindication, and returned to his father to send us his Spirit to include us in his vindication. We remember:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And he will come to us again. As citizens of God’s kingdom and exiles in the world, we long for the day when he returns to bring peace and justice on the earth. We look forward to:
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
In our family we use Advent to remind ourselves of this good news, “God has come!” and this great promise, “Jesus is coming back!” by reading the great story he has given us.
Using advent ornaments
We want to make our Christmas tree sing of Jesus by hanging an ornament on the tree each day that reminds us of the part of the story we have read. We fish them out of our numbered advent pockets which hang on our living room wall.
If you wanted to create your own advent calendar. you don’t have to use a tree. You could hang up ornaments on string or from hooks or stand them up. You don’t have to use advent pockets. There are lots of ideas on the internet: you could use numbered paper bags, wrap them up as presents or even make a muffin tin advent calendar.
This year, we also plan on displaying the beautiful pictures on the cards on a string around our house so that our christmas decorations sing God’s coming.
If you get inspired to make your own advent calendar we hope this helps you tell and retell the best story we know among your family as happily as Isaiah’s watchmen.
Our Advent Reading Plan
You can find our advent reading plan with ideas for symbols here.
You can find the Jesus Storybook Bible card printable here.
Our Advent Ornaments
Here are our examples of our felt ornaments we made for our children to discover with each story.
December 1: a puzzle piece
December 2: the world
December 3: a snake or an apple
December 9: a rainbow coat
December 10: a fire
December 11: the sea
December 12: stone tablets
December 13: a wall
December 14: a crown
December 15: a slingshot and stone
December 16: a sheep
December 17: a heart
December 18: a letter
December 19: a lion
December 20: a whale
December 21: a party balloon
December 24: a star above a city