One of the first things that alerts me to the Christmas season is the fact that Advent Calendars start popping up in the shops. They come in all shapes and sizes, everything from Frozen to Kung Fu Panda. Perhaps my fascination with the ones in the shops stems from the fact that we weren’t allowed ones with candy in them when I was a kid. The deprived child inside screams out for me to spend up to $12 on what amounts to about 100g of chocolate and the joy of popping out a cardboard window each day (who doesn’t love the sound of perforated cardboard ripping?)
But I’ve been thinking recently that the right advent calendar provides another opportunity to read the Bible every day of December leading up to Christmas Day, especially with your kids. There are heaps of different ways to do an Advent Calendar.
Here are 3 easy options you could purchase.
Option 1: The Christmas Promise Advent Calendar
Price: $6.99 or $9.99 for the story and the calendar – Reformers Bookshop
Description: A3 fold-out image of Bethlehem, with a space for each day of Advent for you to stick on one of the 25 included stickers. On the back of the calendar is the story from ‘The Christmas Promise’ which you can recap a section of day-by-day.
Option 2: Countdown to the coming of the King
Price: $8.99 – Reformers Bookshop
Description: Each of the 25 windows on the Advent calendar opens to reveal a full-colour illustration of the events of the first Christmas. Each door has a verse printed on the back of it and also reveals a hidden letter, which is part of a message about the coming of King Jesus. This hidden message is one of several puzzles printed on the back of the calendar.
Option 3: Christmas Opened Up
Price: $7.99 – The Good Book Company
Description: Each window in the Advent Calendar opens to reveal a rich, full colour illustration. The accompanying book helps families to read two or three verses from Luke each day, discuss some simple questions and then pray together.
If you’re feeling creative and want to make your own there are plenty of ideas online. Here are a few worthwhile ideas.
Option 1: Noel Piper’s Advent Calendar
Description: She’s sold out of all the pieces that make it up but the words are there for each day. You could make your own or buy a nativity scene to go along with the words (Go to noelpiper.com or google her name).
Option 2: Truth in the Tinsel ebook
Description: Each day Truth in the Tinsel will lead you through a passage of scripture, a corresponding ornament craft and talking points for you and your kids. (Go to truthinthetinsel.com)
Pinterest also has heaps of creative ways to make advent calendars from 25 little bags to 25 little boxes. My favourite is filling the holes of 2 muffin tins with a verse and a treat! The possibilities are endless! (http://myfrugaladventures.com/2014/11/20-advent-calendar-ideas-to-make-or-buy/)
The main thing is to read a few verses of the Bible’s Christmas Story each day and remember what Christmas is really about. In order to drown out the world’s message of Christmas we almost want children to get to the point of saying, ‘we know
Christmas is all about Jesus, you don’t have to keep telling us!’ And then we need to tell them again – Christmas is all about Jesus!