If I was a good blogger, I would have written this post weeks ago when you were thinking about and planning your own advent season.
Instead…I’m sharing it today, two days into advent! If you already have a plan for advent, I hope this will give you ideas for next year rather than pressure to add more this year. But if you’ve been wanting to embrace a more intentional advent and weren’t sure where to start, it’s not too late to pick a resource or two from this list.
(And if you’re feeling discouraged about the way your advent has started, be sure to read this encouragement from Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas.)
I really enjoy the IF : Equip Bible studies, and I’m excited to participate in their four-week advent study this month.
Last year I started Lara Williams’ Then Came Jesus study. I really loved it, but our advent season ended up being chaotic and discombobulated because we were traveling during the first part of the month, and I set it aside after the first week. It may be too lofty this year as well (hello, newborn!), but I’m going to try anyway.
For the girls
We love Amanda White’s Truth in the Tinsel and have used it for the past four years. Rather than doing the daily crafts, we use the printable ornaments along with the daily devotional. We’ve somehow managed to lose our original set of ornaments since last Christmas, so we colored a new set last month, and they’re all ready to go in our morning time binder.
My friend Heather released a family devotional this year as well, and I’m excited to incorporate the Experiencing Advent study into our daily morning time, especially for the big girls. We’ll be tweaking it some to work for our family—skipping the crafts and recipes and moving the other activities to weekdays—but I love that it includes Bible study, Scripture memorization, historical background, and hymns!
Someone also shared this Scripture writing plan on Facebook, and I love writing out Scripture, so I’m excited to include it as well. (Although I am 100% sure we won’t do it every day!)
As a family
We first incorporated an advent wreath into our celebration four years ago, and it remains one of my favorite traditions. This year we won’t be doing any gifts with our weekly readings (the gifts, while meaningful, had clearly become too much of a focus last year for our girls), but we will be serving a special dessert each Sunday night just to set aside that time as a special part of our week.
In addition, we’re reading Jotham’s Journey this year (hat tip to Sarah Mackenzie for the recommendation). We started early because one of our big girls will be staying with my parents for a few days and we won’t read on those days, and so far we’re all enjoying the story and daily lessons.
Since I spend much of my day on the couch nursing the baby anyway, we’ll also read through our growing Christmas book collection, and I would like to finish Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury this year as well.
We’ll still be doing many of our favorite Christmas crafts and activities as well—plus lots of baking, of course. I recently stumbled across this post from Laura Vanderkam about why she does not simplify Christmas, and it really resonated with me. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, of course you should reconsider the activities on your list, but it’s okay to enjoy a full holiday season as well!
What are your favorite advent activities in the weeks leading up to Christmas?