Easter and Christmas are important holidays on the church calendar. You want your home to reflect their meaning and importance. Yet sometimes, the desire to make the holidays understood and celebrated can itself become a source of stress. There are so many ways to celebrate Advent, for instance, that a family can be overwhelmed wondering which are best.
At The Printery House we want to encourage you to relax this year. Trust that God will use and bless even the smallest effort to make His coming special. Here are some simple ideas that you can use to help make the Advent season a special time in your home.
1. Make an Advent Prayer Chain
This season, cut strips of whatever color paper you choose. Have your children write out prayer requests on a strip each day and then pray together. You could pray for people far away, people near, and for yourselves. When Christmas arrives, you will have a long and lovely chain to hang on the tree or mantle and many weeks of family prayer.
2. Christmas Books Make a Special Appearance
Develop a collection of Christmas books that only come out during Advent each year. These books can line the mantel or hearth or could be set up down the stairs. Choose one book each week (maybe at Sunday dinner) to read. Add to your collection each year.
The Printery House offers several books that would fit the bill. Guess Who’s Coming for Christmas is a booklet for young children designed for reading through the Advent season. Christmas Tree Blessing tells the story of the Christmas tree and includes a special prayer to bless the tree and even a song to sing together.
3. Let the Kids be Re-Enactors
Several times read the Christmas story to your children. It may be best to use a Children’s bible with youngsters. Have your nativity set on hand and let the kids act out the story as you read. Children will want to take turns acting out different characters in the story week by week.
4. Learn an Advent Hymn
There are hymns written in celebration of the Lord’s birth. Christmas carols and hymns are only sung for a few weeks each year. Why not spend some time singing these songs at home during the season? You could sing a song such as O Come, O Come Immanuel each Sunday of Advent. By the time Christmas arrives, young voices will be able to sing along in church.
5. Advent Calendars
Advent calendars are tried and true ways to help your family stay focused on the coming of Jesus at Christmas. The Printery House offers several types of calendars – some have windows, some have stickers, but all are fun and can help your family celebrate the special season.
6. Special Sunday Dinners
It’s never too early to introduce an advent wreath, even if you don’t do all of the readings and activities with young children. During Advent, make Sunday dinners special with candlelight and the lighting of the Advent candle. You could read small sections of the Christmas story, sing a Christmas carol or offer a special Advent prayer.
When it comes to family worship, more isn’t always better. Consistency is what counts. You can make Advent special without a lot of stress. God can be trusted to bless your efforts. At The Printery House, we want to help you make this Advent meaningful. Choose one or two ideas and implement them and see how God multiplies the investment.