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I love… I mean LOVE this time of year. Christmas is just the best! As soon as our Thanksgiving meal is over and our guests have taken their leave, we bring out the Christmas decorations, turn on the Christmas music, and get to work transforming our home into a Christmas filled house of joy. Advent is the name of the season leading up to Christmas day. It is a season of longing… of expectation… of anticipation. It is a time to remember the Israelites and their believing the promise of a Savior even as they labored and groaned through the hardest of times. Jesus has come. He has died and rose again. His death and resurrection tore down the curtain that shielded the holy of holies, making salvation available for everyone… everyone… not just the Jews…. not just the pharisees or keepers of the law… not just the people who faithfully and diligently came and made sacrifice. Jesus is the sacrifice of all sacrifices. He came and fulfilled the law and he will come again to take us home. We wait. We long. We aniticipate. We remember.
We have used several different devotionals and books over the years to help us prepare during the Advent season. I wanted to share some of my favorites.
Illustrate Your Faith- Printable Jesse Tree Ornaments from Ninja Mom Teaches (that’s me!). I created this set of printable ornaments a few years ago to accompany the Jesse tree. If you aren’t familiar with the Jesse Tree, it is an Advent reading schedule that takes you through the entire Bible- exposing our need for a Savior and seeing how God’s story of redemption and rescue is woven throughout. Illustrate Your Faith- Printable Jesse Tree Ornaments comes with a Printable Reading Schedule.
Illustrate Your Faith- Jesse Tree Edition from Ninja Mom Teaches (me again!). This printable coloring book contains the same images as the Jesse Tree printable ornaments shown above. This printable pack, however, has full size pages as well as a reading schedule for the season.
Illustrate Your Faith: Color Your Way Through Advent from Ninja Mom Teaches (yep… me again!) contains 24 original, full page drawings as well as a reading schedule of Bible verses to help prepare your heart for the birth of Christ.
This Advent Response Journal from Ninja Mom Teaches is FREE!!!
Reflect on the Advent Season with this Printable pack.
Included in the pack:
2 Advent Reading Plans- One for younger kids, one for older kids, teens, and adults.
A response page- “Read, Write, Respond”
2 Coloring Sheets
Christmas Countdown Page
GUESS WHAT?!?! If you are reading this post between November 29 and November 30, 2021, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale. The three resources listed above are on sale for 20% off. Save EVEN MORE with the code CYBER21!
“Truth in the Tinsel includes detailed supply lists, links to Scriptures, simple craft tutorials, step-by-step talking points, craft templates and a fun paper chain countdown. This ebook will give you everything you need (besides a few basic craft supplies!) to walk your kids through the entire Christmas story from the Bible–beginning with prophecy in Isaiah, through the stories in the Gospels all the way to Jesus’ ultimate goal for coming to earth.”
Truth in Tinsel was a favorite of ours when they were little. I got really ambitious the year we did this and had all the supplies ready to go and sorted by day before we even started. It made my life so much easier and we were able to keep up with the readings and activities!
Unwrapping The Greatest Gift is one of my most favorite books!!! We used it for several years in a row!!! This was great for my younger kids as well as my teens. The illustrations are beautiful. The devotions are poetic and thought provoking. This follows the Jesse Tree readings and has an opportunity for you to print out Jesse Tree ornaments.
Jotham’s Journey is one of many Storybooks for Advent. The story unfolds as the season goes on. Jotham’s Journey is divided into short chapters for each day of Advent, giving families the opportunity to create a seasonal tradition of storytelling in their home. Ten-year-old Jotham’s adventure takes him across Israel as he searches for his family. Other books in this series include: Bartholomew’s Passage and Tabitha’s Travels.
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus follows a more traditional Advent season. Often when you think of Advent, you might picture the candles and the wreath. I know when I was little, they would give us kits to take home from church to build our Advent wreath so we could do the readings at home. This book begins each week with an interactive family devotional and has additional readings throughout the week. It also includes ideas for family activities and service projects.
Shadow and Light is the devotional we are using this season.
“From bestselling author Tsh Oxenreider, Shadow and Light is a rich yet approachable experience that invites you to explore the historical meaning of Advent. Drawing from liturgical tradition, Tsh provides fresh insights for new and longtime believers alike. Each day includes Scripture, a reflection, a question, and a simple activity to engage the senses, such as lighting candles, listening to music, and viewing artwork both old and new.”
This book has a reading for each week that lights a new candle on your Advent Wreath. It also contains daily devotions as well as additional daily Scripture readings. The author intends for you to engage your senses and offers a song to listen to and a piece of art to reflect on with each of the readings.
Does your family do anything special for Advent? What books or activities have you done? Comment below and share the wealth!