Like many of you, my wife and I are trying to cultivate Christ-centered traditions in our household. And that is no less true during the Christmas season. I thought I would share one thing that we do that some of you readers might wish to incorporate into your family traditions—an advent calendar.
We like the advent calendars because they are about advent—the first coming of Christ in fulfillment of God’s promises. Advent calendars are a way to mark every day of the Christmas season with that singular focus. In our house, the tradition is very simple. Beginning on December 1, we read a daily verse of scripture pertaining to advent season. I will say a few words of instruction about the verse (very short!). After the reading, the children take turns opening that day’s door on the calendar. Our calendar is a manger scene. For every figure in the manger scene, my wife and I briefly explain who they are and why they are important.
The image below is a picture of the advent calendar that we use, but it looks like it may no longer be available on Amazon. But that’s okay; there are many options out there. My recommendation is that you buy one that will last through the years—something that your children will cherish long after you are gone.
We also use Scott James’s book The Expected One for the daily readings. We like it a lot, and I recommend it to you if you need some direction on which scriptures to go through with the kiddos.
We do this sometimes in the morning but most of the time we do it when we come together for dinner in the evening. It’s really simple, but the kids love it and look forward to it every year. Maybe yours will too if you’re not already doing something like this.