I've seen a lot of discussion here, there, and everywhere about Advent. Advent traditions, advent wreaths, ways to make the holiday season more meaningful.
I'm really excited to see the upswing in interest in Advent. It seems like a lot of people had forgotten about it and focused only on Christmas. I didn't know that some churches don't observe Advent.
Advent is early and long this year. It always starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas and since Christmas is on a Saturday this year we have a lot of time to observe the season!
So, what do we do here to mark Advent? It's hard to find materials that are geared to young kids. It's harder still that I want Lutheran materials, and even in that narrow category I'm picky.
We use an Advent calendar once we hit 25 days before Christmas. I really like the soft pieces with velcro because both my six year old and my three year old can take turns placing the pieces. The baby would love his own turn I'm sure, but I think his idea of fun is closer to eating the nativity figures then moving them.
For nightly family devotions we have Celebrate Jesus! At Christmas. I like the format of this- especially since it goes all the way through Epiphany. Every devotion has a Bible passage to read (you need your own Bible), a devotional, a song to sing, and a nativity activity. My husband and I are going through O Come Emmanuel which covers different music associated with the season.
Since our nightly devotions include setting up the Nativity, it's not all together yet.
This is the same Advent wreath from last year. It stays in the middle of our table but we only light it during devotions.
Finally, I saw a tutorial for these snowflakes online and had to make one. They are easy and beautiful and HUGE.