Advent

christmas-chalkboard

img_4494Every year, in the month of December, we spent time focusing on preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  One tangible way we do this as a family is by doing Advent Activities.  Each day, December 1-25, our kids open the Advent Bag that corresponds with that day.  Each bag contains a card with a Bible verse and a family activity printed on it.

I’ve included a video tutorial on how I made my Advent Bags.  They are simple to make and have held up for over 5 years.  My kids get so excited when they see them hung up across a wall of our house each December.

I’ve also given you a list of the Bible verses that we use, as well as our Advent activities for this year.  Just an FYI, some of our activities may not be in the order I have posted.  I try to plan ahead, but adjust as necessary depending on how life goes.  Follow my blog this month for more detailed blog posts on some of our crafts and family activities.

ADVENT BIBLE VERSES

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.  Psalm 118:29

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  John  10:27-28

But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zecharaiah; your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.”  Luke 1:13

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.  Luke 1:76-77

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”  Luke 1: 30-32

And everyone went to his own town to register.  Luke 2:3

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”      Luke 1:46-47

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.  Matthew 1:21

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:7

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.  Luke 2:21

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  Luke 2:20

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of king Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:1-2

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  Matthew 2:11a

Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.  Matthew 2:11b

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.  “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.  Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  Matthew 2:13

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  1 John 5:11

And live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Ephesians 5:2

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6

Your word is truth.  John 17:17

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Jesus is the Son of God.  Acts 9:20

This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.   1 John 4:9

 

ADVENT ACTIVITIES 

  1. GET OUR CHRISTMAS TREE AND DECORATE IT
  2. READ THE CHRISTMAS STORY FROM THE BIBLE
  3. FAMILY GAME NIGHT
  4. TURN DAD INTO A SNOWMAN
  5. CRAFT: MAKE POPSICLE STICK SNOWFLAKES TO HANG AROUND THE HOUSE
  6. BUY GIFTS FOR CHILDREN WHO CANNOT AFFORD CHRISTMAS GIFTS
  7. READ SOME FAVORITE CHRISTMAS STORY BOOKS TOGETHER
  8. ATTEND A CHRISTMAS SHOW IN OUR TOWN
  9. STACK UP RED CUPS AND HAVE NERF WARS
  10. CRAFT: MAKE CHRISTMAS TREES OUT OF TWIGS
  11. MAKE UP A SILLY CHRISTMAS STORY TOGETHER (each person adds one sentence at at time)
  12. GO OUT INTO A FIELD OR TO A BARN AND IMAGINE WHAT  IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE WHEN JESUS WAS BORN
  13. WATCH THE POLAR EXPRESS AND MAKE GRAHAM CRACKER TRAINS TO EAT
  14. DO SOME FUNNY CHRISTMAS MAD LIBS
  15. GET A YUMMY TREAT AND DRIVE AROUND LOOKING AT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
  16. DRAW CHRISTMAS PICTURES TOGETHER
  17. PLAY HIDE AND GO SEEK WITH BABY JESUS (from our nativity set)
  18. BE BELL RINGERS FOR THE SALVATION ARMY
  19. POPCORN AND MOVIE NIGHT: ELF
  20. CRAFT: MAKE CHRISTMAS TREES OUT OF SHEET MUSIC
  21. HALLWAY BOWLING AT HOME
  22. MAKE GRAHAM CRACKER GINGERBREAD HOUSES WITH FRIENDS
  23. BAKE AND DECORATE A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR JESUS
  24. ATTEND A CHRISTMAS EVE GATHERING AND OPEN ONE GIFT BEFORE BED (always new pajamas for each of our kids)
  25. MERRY CHRISTMAS: CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS WITH OUR FAMILY!

 

 

 

 

Thankful Tree

One of our Thanksgiving traditions is to create a thankful tree.  We have done this several ways throughout the years, but this has become my favorite way to display our gratitude in the month of November.  It is a great activity that encourages families to spend quality time together and to focus on the things we are grateful for.

Fall walks are full of beauty with the changing colors and leaves and twigs scattered throughout.  We are blessed to have gorgeous walking trails in our city.  This year we took our kids out to collect branches near the river.  We brought the branches home and placed them in a vase.  I cut out simple tags using my Cricut machine, punched a hole in the top, and threaded a loop of twine through each one.

One evening, when we were all home together, we sat down in the living room and spent a few minutes writing the things that we are thankful for, then decorated our “tree.”   This activity can be done anytime in the month of November and can become part of your Fall decor, or it can be an activity that you do with extended family and friends on Thanksgiving day when many are gathered, as a part of your time together.

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Breakfast Turkey

It’s the Monday morning of Thanksgiving break.  We are all in our pajamas and enjoying a relaxing day off.  In a couple of days we will pack up and head to Papa and Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.  But today we are home with virtually no agenda.  I mentioned to my husband that we had cinnamon rolls and bacon in the refrigerator and then inspiration hit!  I had seen a picture of these breakfast turkeys on Pinterest and had wanted to make them.  Today was the perfect day!  These sweet and yummy turkeys didn’t last long in our house…and I think we found a new Thanksgiving Break tradition.

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Fall Leaf Cupcakes

FALL!!! It’s my favorite time of year!  Leaves are changing color and the weather is perfect!   If you are looking for a simple and elegant cupcake to celebrate Fall or to add to your Thanksgiving dessert menu, take a few minutes to watch my tutorial and learn how to make these delicious edible leaf cupcake toppers!

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