3 "Strange" Suggestions for Family Advent


3 "Strange" Suggestions for Family Advent

If you’re like me, you long for Advent to be a meaningful spiritual season for your family, yet the chaos of the holidays makes it extra daunting to squeeze in those spiritual conversations or special activities.

In the midst of the busyness of this season, may I offer three strange and simple suggestions for our families’ Advent seasons this year?

  1. Quiet Our Own Hearts

True rest comes not from an uncluttered calendar but from fixing our eyes on Jesus long enough to let the things of earth come into perspective.

This Advent season, may we first prioritize time for our own souls to taste and see that God is good (Psalm 34:8). Perhaps something as simple as finding Christ-focused music - even our own FDC band’s Advent album­­­ - might prove encouraging and refreshing this season.

  1. Remember Children’s Limits

If we wish to reach our children’s hearts, we would do well to consider the needs of their little bodies, too. Little ones thrive when they are well-rested, well-fed, and (often) in a steady routine. While travel and parties make it difficult to achieve all (or any!) of these, being mindful of your little one’s limits will set them up to receive what you have to teach when the time is right.

In our family, we’ve used something like this chart to communicate a steady routine.

  1. Show them Jesus

As we talk with our children about Mary, Joseph, and shepherds, let us remember that the nativity scene in Bethlehem is only one act of a story that stretches from before the beginning of the world into the infinitely distant future.

For the very youngest children (ages 1-4), consider reading a chapter each day of December from the Big Picture Story Bible. For older children, The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent reading plan is likewise a great resource. If a reading each day seems like more than your family can tackle this December, perhaps you can pick one story for each week, reading as time allows.

May we all, young and old, see and enjoy Christ more in this crazy, messy, wonderful season.

- Courtney Harris