“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Could you imagine a time before the celebration of Christmas even existed? Or a time before a world that wasn’t filled with sin or hopelessness? Israel was waiting and wondering if the prophecy in Isaiah was really going to be fulfilled. Or was a Messiah really going to be born?
Over the next 5 weeks I will be doing a series of topics about The Christmas story. Our hope and prayer from Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry is that even with the busyness of Christmas we keep Christ at the center of our Christmas celebrations. One way to keep Christ in the center is to celebrate Advent (which means coming) with our families.
There are many ways to celebrate Advent and there are no right or wrong ways to celebrate. Celebrating Advent enhances The Christmas Story and carries on Jesus’ legacy He left behind. Celebrating Advent and Christmas allows the birth of Jesus story to be told and carries of His story through us.
5 Ways to Enhance Our Advent Celebration:
Advent Calendar– I love the idea of the Advent calendar. Everyday starting with December first it is a way to fill the month of December by telling the Christmas story. Each day is a little piece of the story until gradually it builds to the birth of Jesus. Our calendar also becomes an ornament we hang on our tree after we read each day. The Advent calendar is a great daily reminder of the story of baby Jesus.
2. Nativity set- Our family has a acquired a few nativity sets over the years. Each year when we decorate for Christmas, the nativity scenes are part of our Christmas decorations. It’s a way to tell the Christmas story to younger children. When setting up the scenes we are reminded of the story of baby Jesus and everything Mary and Joseph went through in order to give birth in the stable. We can see how Jesus wasn’t surrounded by royalty, kings and riches, but shepherds, farm animals and his parents.
3. Singing and Learning Christmas Carols- When Christmas comes our family loves to play Christmas music in our home. It is a way to fill our ears with joyous noise and celebrate the meaning of Christmas through the gift of song. Each year we attend our church’s Christmas pageant where we sing Christmas carols and see the story of baby Jesus unfold through the live nativity scene.
4. Operation Christmas Child– Every year we participate in giving as a part of our Christmas celebration just as the Magi gave gifts to Mary and Joseph for the birth of Jesus. Each year we participate in Operation Christmas Child where we give shoeboxes filled with gifts for children in other countries. It is a way for kids to hear the beautiful message of the gospel usually for the first time ever.
5. Reading books or devotionals about the Christmas story- A great book to read with your family is Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas or Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas. Another great book is by Max Lucado Because of Bethlehem. Or sign up for an advent devotional with faithgateway.com. Shepherd on the search is a great way to involve the whole family when celebrating advent sign up for their daily activities to help guide you in your advent celebration.
Other ways to celebrate advent include-
Advent Candle- Lighting candles to remind us of the light of Jesus
Church- Attending Christmas Eve Services
Sending Christmas Cards with the Christmas Story message
Thankfulness- write down what you are thankful for and hang it on your tree
Before the busyness of the Christmas season begins, start your month off by planning time with your family each day to retell one of the greatest stories ever—The Christmas story. Make Advent celebration part of your Christmas story.
May Christ be the reason for our season.
How do you celebrate Advent with your family?
What is the your favorite way to celebrate Advent?
Would you like to know more about The Christmas Story? Join me every Monday over the next 4 weeks to learn more about the birth of Jesus and the deeper meaning of The Christmas Story.