Advent: Week 1

advent wreath

Ready for our first advent activity? I am!!

My first experience with an advent calendar was my paper one from when I was a kid. I’ve got quite the collection now. But I don’t think I ever even heard of advent candles or an advent wreath until I was older. I still don’t quite get the whole purple-pink candles. But I just love any kind of tradition that builds on truths for days or weeks. So, this entire series is somewhat {loosely} based on the themes of the advent candles/wreath.

This first week we’re going to focus on HOPE. It’s one of those words that is overused and hardly understood. I want my kids to feel the real HOPE that the Israelites must have felt about the Messiah, the HOPE Mary had for her baby and the HOPE we now have in Christ. That’s a tall order for the first week of December, isn’t it? Well, I’m ready!

I’ve printed off 7 little clipart candles with one word on them. (You can download them here.) The kids are going to pick a candle, we’ll read the word and do the activity. Then we’ll hang up each candle as we complete the activity. Here are the activities…

1. Blindfold

Isaiah 9:2 & 6 talks about the light of the world–Jesus. It’s a prophecy that announces the Messiah’s arrival. We’re going to talk about how the world was in darkness before Jesus came. That’s when I’ll blindfold the kids. I’ll let them try to walk around or find a toy or play. We’ll talk about how hard it is to see and do anything. Then, we’ll take off our blindfolds and turn on a flashlight. We’ll talk about how Jesus was promised to be the light that would help the whole world see!

2. Advent Candles

Like I said, I’ve never done an advent wreath with candles before. But I love the symbolism and it rolls perfectly into Isaiah 9. So, we’ll actually be lighting a candle every day—I have a candle advent calendar that is just beautiful. But this day we’ll talk specifically about HOPE and (hopefully) I’ll have one different colored candle per week. (My candle calendar is just a bunch of votives with numbers on them, but this one would be awesome, too!)

3. Watch Veggie Tales’ It’s a Meaningful Life.

I already did a review on this movie and it fits perfectly in with hope! Larry was hoping for the wrong things then realized what God had planned for him was even better than he could have imagined. We might even pull out some popcorn and have a big Christmas movie adventure! Then we’ll color this VeggieTales Meaningful Life Coloring sheet and talk about the story and about HOPE.

4. Scripture Memory Banner

Our verse this week is John 1:9, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” So, I made a banner with pictures to go with each word of the verse. Then we’ll hang the banner up to help us “read” the verse and memorize it! (Download the pictures here!)

5. Candle Craft

I saw these cute candle holders on Mintage Home and because I have about 50 pounds of colored sand leftover from Asa’s party, I thought this would be perfect! All you need is a jar or clear container, colored sand and a votive/tea light. You layer the sand and nestle the candle inside! You can buy colored sand at a craft store, or you could use rice and color it yourself. We are going to use jars (I have an obsession with collecting jars) and hopefully we’ll display them in our living room with the rest of our Christmas decor!

6. Baby

Today we’re going to focus on the main character of this whole story: baby Jesus! We’re going to read the Christmas story and talk about Jesus as a baby. We’ll probably look at our nativity scene, through a few Christmas books and maybe even look at pictures of the kids when they were babies.

Then we’re going to go shopping for a baby! Not for baby Jesus, but in honor of him, we’re going to pack up a NICU Survival Kit (a cool idea from my friend and mom to quads, QuatroMama) to send to a NICU baby who will be in the hospital this Christmas season! You could make a gift for a new baby you know, or call your local hospital, women’s shelter, crisis pregnancy center or some other place that helps moms and babies!

7. Gift

This is going to be my favorite thing. We’re going to wrap a giant box and then decorate the outside–with one picture of a manger and one of a cross. Then we’ll read 2 Corinthians 9:15 that says, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.” We’ll talk about how Isaiah promised us the gift of the Messiah. And how the Israelites HOPED for him. And when he was promised to Mary from Gabriel how she HOPED for her baby. But now, our HOPE is not in Jesus’ birth. It’s in the promise of Jesus’ death, resurrection and promise of eternal life!

We’re going to keep the box under our tree until Christmas and I’m planning to open it up first on Christmas morning. Maybe I’ll tuck a Bible in there before we wrap it and we’ll read the Bible Story to remind us of the indescribable gift of Jesus! I just love the idea of our main gift being a giant one that shows the HOPE of Christ! What a daily reminder it will be when our eyes are filled with material and petty gifts!

So, does that sound fun? It’s not too unmanageable is it? Like I said, feel free to do these in a different order or do 3 on one day. Whatever fits your schedule and your kids! Here’s a downloadable supply/checklist to help you plan!

During the week I’ll post pictures and updates of what we’ve done and I’d love to see what you’re doing. So, feel free to leave a link in the comments, or write it on our facebook page–you can even upload pictures there!

linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family, please visit for more outstanding Christmas tips & ideas!

humbly submitted to Walk with Him Wednesdays at Holy Experience,  please visit more beautiful posts (and more beautifully written!) about the practice of Christmas.

Comments

  1. YAY! It’s up!
    Questions:
    1-Would you pretty please post a pic of your candles with numbers on them? I was actually having a conversation with my hubby about advent candles last night and neither one of us really get them. He (a pk) didn’t even remember them. ~0~
    2-Did you know that It’s a Meaningful Life is on Netflix Instant Streaming? (for those who do that)

    My kiddos are in K & 2nd grade, so we’ll be adapting to fit us. Feel free to throw out any ideas that you think of for that age. We won’t be drawing as I’ll need to manage what happens on what day.
    Thanks so much for the ideas! Love them!

  2. I have some candles that I might use. The are in shot glass type things too. lol. Since this Dec only has 3 Sundays before Christmas, how will that work out for you?

  3. Oh, Amanda, this looks fabulous! I’ll be doing some of these along with our Jesse Tree readings (we’re doing those at dinner time, so I’ll want some extra things to do during the day!).

  4. Thanks so much for all of the creative ideas – I love being able to engage my children in this advent season. What a great website – thanks!!!

  5. Thanks so much for your ideas! Advent is relatively new to our little family, but it always excites me :) I mentioned your link on a blog today: http://roofwithaview.blogspot.com/2010/11/train-up-tuesday-numbering-days.html

    Blessings!

  6. Amazing, thank you for sharing, I look forward to the upcoming weeks too!!!

  7. Rachel Van Hook says:

    Amanda! I love your blog and I inserted a link to your blog in my own blog last night. We’re doing some similar Christmas activities and I wanted people to check yours out too! Hope that’s ok. Thank you for sharing!!!

  8. Rachel Van Hook says:

    Oh my blog is teamvanhook.blogspot.com if you want to check it out.

    Rachel :)

  9. Our son was born eight weeks early this August and spent the first five weeks of his life in the NICU. Reading your idea about a NICU survival kit has touched me (and my family) deeply. We can’t wait to make someone’s Christmas brighter in the NICU. Thanks for the idea!

    • Awesome, Amber! I still haven’t been able to post about what we did/are doing. We’re making a teeny tiny fleece blanket today and are going to deliver it soon.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] a Meaningful Life. We haven’t seen the movie yet, but Amanda thinks it’s a good one to watch during Advent, so we might just do that!  With all the pre-Christmas sales going on right now plus this coupon, [...]

  2. [...] part of our Christmas advent activities we made a Christmas candle holder! Our thought for the week is that Jesus is the light of the world. [...]

  3. [...] He came to grow up, to live his life and then die. The hope we have is not in the manger. Our hope is in the [...]

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