10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Advent in Your Homeschool
Do you celebrate advent in your homeschool? I remember, as a kid, awaiting Christmas morning for days on end. We would celebrate Christmas by baking cookies, setting up a Christmas tree and lights, and attending parties in the days of December leading up to the big day. After about fifteen minutes of opening presents, other than a meal with extended family, that was it. No mention of Jesus. Just a significant amount of work leading up to a glorified day off of school. If secular families can hype up a day with so much enthusiasm, how much more should we as Christians place our focus on the true reason for the season?
At first, when my husband and I decided that we wanted Jesus to be the center of our Christmas celebrations, we decided upon reading the Christmas story to the children on Christmas morning. Then it became so much more than that once we were introduced to Advent. “Advent is a period of spiritual preparation in which many Christians make themselves ready for the coming, or birth, of the Lord Jesus Christ.” We began incorporating Advent into our routine in such a way that we would take a break from our traditional homeschooling for the entire month of December so that we could focus on serving others, celebrating Jesus, and spending quality time together. Here are ten fun ways in which you can celebrate Advent in your own homeschool.
- Jesse Tree
A Jesse tree has three main components. A tree, symbolic ornaments, and scripture readings to go along with the ornaments. You can find premade images on Pinterest that you can print out and use as symbols, or you can create your own and find Scriptures to go along with them. Images include Bible stories from Creation leading up to the birth of Christ.
- Tree Lighting Ceremony
Have you ever wondered why tree lighting ceremonies tend to be held so close to the beginning of December? It is because it is to celebrate the beginning of the advent season. Of course, now with commercialism, Christmas is celebrated beginning the day after Thanksgiving, and decorations are found in stores as early as September. But still, the intent of the tree lighting ceremony is to begin the official celebration of the Christmas season!
- Christmas Cookie Baking Party
Who do you want to bless this Christmas season? Take a few hours away from the books, invite your kids into the kitchen, and bake cookies for shut-ins, neighbors, family, and friends.
- Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a precious way to teach your children how to be grateful for what they do have while blessing others with simple yet meaningful gifts. I have been blessed with the opportunity to hand out these boxes to children of all ages in the darkest regions of India. The children were so excited and appreciative of the gifts, and it was so fun for them to see what each other received from such a wide variety of families across the country! They were engrossed in the gifts for hours!
- Favorite Memories on a Postcard
Create cards for family and friends highlighting favorite memories from the year or years past. Everyone loves receiving snail mail in the digital age!
- Display Christmas Cards from Family and Friends
As you receive cards from family and friends, pray for one or more cards each night so that everyone who has sent you a card has been prayed for.
- Make Personalized Ornaments
Regardless of the ages of your children, making personalized ornaments complete with the year in which they were created are certain to be a keepsake. Create these several years in a row, and you might be surprised by how many of your kids will want to keep them to use on their own trees when they have families of their own.
- Host a Christmas Party for Neighbors/Friends
You may be invited to a Christmas party or two this season, but have you considered hosting your own? Be a servant to your neighbors and friends this year by inviting them into your home. It doesn’t need to be fancy. You could even ask everyone to bring a dish to pass or a tray of cookies.
- Visit a Senior Home
Walk through the halls singing Christmas carols or visit with a few of the residents. Some senior homes will even let you come and work on crafts with the residents or hold a program with singing or entertainment.
- Read the Story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible as a Family
Nothing compares to cozying up with your family with the Bible in hand as you read the story of Jesus’ birth together. Make this a tradition that your children will never forget.