Christmas is such an exciting time of the year. And, it is an extremely busy time, so coming up with a Simple Advent Plan is so important. As much as is possible, we want a stress-free Advent season too, because there’s plenty of things on our To Do list and we’re not looking to complicate our Christmas any further.
I remember as a child opening each and every little door to find the piece of chocolate.
Always wondering …
What’s behind the next one?
And trying to find the right door corresponding to the day’s date.
It was so exciting … I’d almost be jumping up and down.
Getting closer and closer to that final door … the double door, which meant it was finally Christmas Eve.
For many years I’ve done that exact same little chocolate advent for my kids.
What Is Advent?
Advent is the period of waiting in expectation of Christ’s birth (Christmas Day). So, it’s a way to mark the days preceding Christmas day. It begins the 4th Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas day.
Sometimes, it is more conveniently started on December 1st and becomes a countdown to Christmas during the month of December. In fact, most commercial Advent calendars only include the 24 days of December leading up to Christmas Day.
Why Celebrate Advent?
There are different reasons for people to celebrate Advent. For some families, Advent is simply a countdown until Christmas, and for others, it’s a reminder that Christ is coming. It’s a way to focus on Christ during the season.
Celebrating Advent is a beautiful way to bring your family’s hearts back to the true meaning of Christmas. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the busyness of the season … to be focused on presents and shopping and me, me, me. Advent is a little reminder every single day to stop and think about what Christmas is.
Stress-Free Advent Planning
In my heart, I want to do elaborate plans … you know, plans that have us doing actual family activities every day. Things like, baking cookies, ice skating, making ornaments, visiting the neighbors – all great things.
But that kind of plan usually doesn’t work out. We’ll start strong, then the season’s activities keep us way too busy.
The days get crazier and crazier, as the month goes along, right?
Then our great plan fizzles out, and the guilt piles on – that’s no way to spend the season.
I’ve finally realized … in this season of life … simple is better.
Since we’ve been trying to Simplify Christmas, I know …
We need a Stress-Free Advent Plan.
We need a Simple Advent Plan.
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A Simple Advent Plan
Here is the plan we’ve finally settled on:
- I now have an advent wall-hanging with little pockets that I get to fill each year. It looks a lot like one of these.
- I usually put in one piece of candy for each of the kids.
- Add a small scripture to read. The scripture verses tell the story of Jesus’ birth, a little bit each day.
- Light our candles. I have a little brass advent wreath, similar to this, that we fill with candles. This is the kids’ favorite part. We absolutely CAN NOT forget the candles. The kids take turns lighting the candles.
- We also read. Reading is part of our normal evening routine so we’re really not adding anything to our schedule. We change the focus, though to Christmas books. We read books like Jotham’s Journey and Bartholomew’s Passage, plus lots of Outstanding Picture Books.
- Depending on the year, we may also include an Open-the-Flap-and-Pull-Out-A-Toy Advent Calendar like one of these.
Some Printable Advent Cards:
- Advent Reading Plan by Not Consumed
- 24 Puns and Knock Knock Jokes from Modern Parents Messy Kids
- Printable Christmas Story from Red and Blue
- Bible Verse Advent Cards by Happy Home Fairy
An Even Simpler Advent Plan
Head over and read about one of the Best Advent Calendars for Kids and purchase it from Amazon right away. Once you get it, let the kids open up one little door each day.
Print out your choice from the Printable Advent Cards above and read one each day as the kids check out their Advent toy.
Getting Prepared for Advent
Advent always sneaks up on me. I get caught off guard every year. I know – that’s dumb – cuz it comes pretty much at the same time year after year.
But, I bet I’m not alone.
Does that happen to you?
My problem is that I wait until after Thanksgiving each year to start thinking about what we’re going to do for advent. You’d think I’d learn – and start planning ahead. But, I don’t.
So, it’s gotta be a Simple Advent Plan. I know that for sure.
Keep It Simple and Get Started Now
There are so many wonderful and complicated options out there for Advent and so many different styles. In order to Simplify Christmas, it’s important to keep your Advent simple.
Remember that this time of year there are so many things filling up our schedules: concerts, parties, visitors, shopping, travel and more.
If your plan is too complicated, it will be easy to start missing days, then end up scrapping the whole thing.
Keep in mind — Advent is a tool to help you slow down, make family memories and remember what the season is about. It’s not just another obligation to put on your list.
Do you have Advent traditions in your family? Tell us how you celebrate Advent.
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