A few years ago, after Kara received her terminal diagnosis, I created an Advent calendar for the Tippetts. We were all wondering if 2013 were going to be her last Christmas, and I had this idea in my mind to help them—even in my own small way—create their sweet holiday memories together. I used The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent reading plan to accompany the activities, wrapped books and activities, and delivered it all to their family with hope. Kara would send pictures of them doing the activities. I don’t know that they did it every day, but I hope it was a blessing when they did choose to do what was in that day’s envelope! And now that my babies are a little bit bigger, I am eager to observe Advent in this tangible way, creating space in each day to focus on Jesus and each other, and to create memories for our own little family. I’ve modified the calendar for our family (readings from TJSB are in italics), and am happy to share it with you.
What are your family’s traditions? How do you seek Jesus during Advent? What do you look forward to in this season?
December 1The Story and the Song. Make Christmas paper chain for countdown and hang somewhere in house.
December 2The Beginning: A Perfect Home. Write love letters for your family members. Give them to Mama to put in each other’s stockings on Christmas Eve.
December 3The Terrible Lie. Watch a Christmas movie.
December 4A New Beginning. Hang mistletoe and be prepared for lots of kisses!
December 5A Giant Staircase to Heaven. Read the Christmas story by flashlight in bed with Mama.
December 6Son of Laughter. Celebrate Saint Nicolas Day (December 6th) by doing a secret act of kindness (either as a family for someone else or as individuals for someone else in your family).
December 7The Present. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
December 8The Girl No One Wanted. Deliver a gift to a friend or neighbor and open and read a Christmas book.
December 9The Forgiving Prince. Make hot chocolate.
December 10God to the Rescue. Make paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling.
December 11God Makes a Way. Sing Christmas carols in front of the tree.
December 12Ten Ways to be Perfect. Do Christmas Mad Libs (can be found online just by Googling).
December 13The Warrior Leader. Play a game together as a family.
December 14The Teeny, Weenie...True King. Have a picnic lunch in front of the Christmas tree.
December 15The Young Hero and the Horrible Giant. Read a Christmas book together as a family.
December 16The Good Shepherd. Call a relative or a friend who lives far away and serenade them with a Christmas song.
December 17A Little Servant Girl and the Proud General. Put on a show acting out the nativity.
December 18Operation "No More Tears." Play Christmas Bingo (can be found online just by Googling).
December 19Daniel and the Scary Sleepover. Color a Christmas coloring page (can be found online just by Googling).
December 20God's Messenger. Camp overnight in front of the Christmas tree as a family.
December 21Get Ready! Go Christmas caroling in your neighborhood.
December 22He's Here. Make popcorn and hot chocolate and read a Christmas book.
December 23The Light of the Whole World. Have several spontaneous dance parties to Christmas music throughout the day.
December 24The King of all Kings. Have a fancy dress code for dinner in honor of Jesus' birthday.