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Advent: A Family Tradition

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As a child my view of Christmas centered around decorations, presents, and of course, Santa Claus. Sure I knew that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus, however, very little of our time as a family was focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Once I became an adult and started my own family, I began to reevaluate how I wanted my family to celebrate the Christmas holidays. I knew that I wanted to move away from the commercialism of Christmas and to really focus on the coming of our Saviour, and it was during this time I began to learn about other families around the world who were celebrating Advent.

According to Noel Piper, “Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas …For four weeks, it’s as if we’re re-enacting, remembering the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. That’s what advent means – coming.” (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-advent)

Advent is a time for us to slow down from the hustle and bustle of life and to invite our children into God’s big story of sending His son as a Saviour for the world. It doesn’t have to take a lot time or preparation, rather just a little bit of intentionality on our part as parents. This year Advent begins on Sunday, December 2nd. We have listed some suggestions of ways to celebrate Advent as a family below, and we want to encourage you to pick one of the suggestions and start a new family tradition this year![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1543695937347{margin-bottom: 3px !important;}”][vc_column_inner][vc_text_separator title=”Share this article with friends! ” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-share-alt-square” i_color=”custom” add_icon=”true” i_custom_color=”#000000″ css=”.vc_custom_1543695953383{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][Sassy_Social_Share][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Family Advent Ideas

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Family Reading Plans” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-book” color=”black” border_width=”2″ add_icon=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1543695486397{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”1042″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Taking time to read the Bible together as a family is one of the most simple, yet most meaningful ways that you can celebrate Advent. All you need to do is pick a reading plan and pick a time of day that works best for your family. For my family this is usually done after dinner together, but other families prefer before bedtime or during breakfast. If having a daily time is too much for
your family’s schedule, start with picking one day of the week for a Family Night. There is a wealth of Advent Reading Plans available on the internet to meet your family’s needs and children’s ages. Here are some of our favorite free resources available:

  • Advent: Christ Is Coming! A Family Devotional – (Also available on the YouVersion Bible App)
  • Knowing Him By Name – from Focus on the Family. After signing in you may also gain access to previous year’s Advent calendars.
  • DIY Advent Calendar This is a good reading plan for families with younger children to teach them the Nativity story. Each day you read the previous days’ readings and then add on that day’s reading, so that the story builds throughout the month.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_text_separator title=”DIY Advent Wreath Craft” i_type=”linecons” i_icon_linecons=”vc_li vc_li-world” i_color=”green” color=”black” border_width=”2″ add_icon=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1543695517915{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]One of the traditional ways that the Church has celebrated Advent is through the use of the Advent Wreath and the lighting of candles each Sunday. A fun way to involve your children in the Advent celebration is to make a DIY Advent Wreath together and incorporate it into your Family Time each week![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Check out these 12 DIY Advent Wreath Crafts! ” color=”green” align=”center” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youandkids.com%2F12-diy-advent-wreath-crafts-celebrate-honor-faith%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_text_separator title=”Baking for Christmas” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-birthday-cake” i_color=”pink” color=”black” border_width=”2″ add_icon=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1543695528824{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]One of my children’s favourite Advent activities is baking Christmas cookies together and then delivering them to our neighbours. Whether you use your family’s traditional kuih recipes or try a new Christmas cookie recipe, this is a great way to spend quality together as a family and then show God’s love to your neighbours!

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”1039″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_text_separator title=”Decorate your house ” i_type=”openiconic” i_icon_openiconic=”vc-oi vc-oi-home” i_color=”sandy_brown” color=”black” border_width=”2″ add_icon=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1543695816724{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]One of my favorite traditions as a family is decorating our house in preparation for Christmas! It sets the atmosphere of wonder and anticipation for the coming of our King! Play your favorite Christmas carols and spend an evening as a family putting up festive decorations. There is no need to spend a lot of money, you can even make your own decorations together with your children![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Check out these DIY decoration ideas! ” color=”sandy-brown” align=”center” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coupons.com%2Fthegoodstuff%2Fdiy-christmas-garlands%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_text_separator title=”Serving Others as a Family” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-users” i_color=”turquoise” color=”black” border_width=”2″ add_icon=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1543695830465{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1045″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Advent is the perfect time to teach your children about giving to others and showing God’s love in practical ways! As a celebration of receiving the greatest gift of Jesus, choose one or more activities to take some time to focus on serving others:

  • Deliver cookies to the employees at a fire station, police station, or hospital on Christmas Day
  • Donate blood
  • Pool together some money to buy a tank of petrol for a friend or relative who can’t afford to go home for Christmas.
  • Prepare a meal together as a family and take it to a sick or elderly friend.
  • Go caroling at an Old Folks Home .
  • Encourage every member of your family to look each person they come across that day in the eye, smile, and express their appreciation with a simple “thank you” or a compliment.
  • Choose a day to serve each other inside your own home – take out the trash, encourage your children to pick up their sibling’s toys, and show appreciation for one another.

(Ideas adapted from https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/holidays/featured-holidays/christmas/20-ideas-for-serving-others-as-a-family-this-christmas/)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_cta h2=”How will your family celebrate advent this year?” txt_align=”center” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Share with us on Facebook! ” btn_color=”blue” btn_size=”lg” btn_align=”center” btn_i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-facebook-official” btn_add_icon=”true” btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsuperbookmalaysia||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_cta][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1543695937347{margin-bottom: 3px !important;}”][vc_column_inner][vc_text_separator title=”Share this article with friends! ” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-share-alt-square” i_color=”custom” add_icon=”true” i_custom_color=”#000000″ css=”.vc_custom_1543695953383{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][Sassy_Social_Share][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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