Keeping Focused at Christmas with Advent
Christmas decorations were on the store shelves before Halloween. The twinkling lights are being hung outside as I write this. The catalogs are clogging our mailboxes. We hear the cry that Christmas is too commercial and the holidays are being driven by the retail world. How do we stay focused on the real meaning of Christmas? How do we hear God’s message through the din? How do we teach our children to stay God-centered during this season?
I think one of the answers is Advent. Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd this year. Advent is a time of waiting, of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing. We are waiting to acknowledge, and of course, celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Children love the feeling of anticipation and this creates extra excitement. Make the most of this excitement with activities during the Advent season to keep the focus on God’s message. Advent wreaths are a lovely tradition with great meaning.
You can make a traditional wreath with battery operated candles or craft one like this:
Advent calendars with a Christian theme are another way to keep every day focused on the coming of the Christ child! A simple and inexpensive idea is to create a traditional chain with the names of Jesus or God on each one. This will encourage “out-of-the-box” thinking about God. You can make another simple calendar by labeling cards and reading a scripture each day.
Each day could include a special craft that helps us remember the flurry of activity during the time of Jesus. Guildcraft Arts & Crafts can help you with their quality Christmas Crafts! Featured below are the Nativity Star Ornament, Abigail’s Basket of Peace and Sheep Noteholders!
Songs and hymns are a wonderful way to keep the message alive each day. Children love music and repetition. Try some Christian Children’s CDs or a child’s hymnal for some classics as well as new catchy tunes. Your entire family will be humming along!
Lastly, I love the idea of a “Giving Christmas.” Gifts are part of the birth of a baby; remember the Magi’s gifts? This is a wonderful time to teach our children about outreach. Adopt a family, buy gifts for the giving tree, Deliver food to those less fortunate. Think about including a note or card from your child. Guildcraft Arts & Crafts has a SAVIOR Card that would be perfect for all ages!
All of these activities can change a child’s focus from self-centered to God-centered.
However you decide to celebrate the birth of Jesus, enjoy the anticipation and the delight in each child’s eyes! And don’t forget to look in the mirror to remember your own delight from your personal journey of preparation and love for Jesus!
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