By Jerri Ann, Contributing Writer
Image by Joe Buckingham
I know, I know. You are already feeling overwhelmed with Thanksgiving right around the corner. You’re busy digging out your table linens and figuring out what side dishes you’ll make this year. But guess what? Christmas isn’t too far behind. If you’re looking for ways to bring God back into Christmas, this advent calendar is a project you’ll want to add to your to-do list.
The holidays have become the busiest time of the year.
What would you do if your budget didn’t allow for gifts? Or what if your family had to eat from boxed meals this year? Just try to imagine with me for a second if all the things that have made Christmas “Christmas” in your house were not a possibility this year? What would you do?
I want to challenge you dear readers, whether you have the money for an extravagant Christmas or not, to find a way to celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ this year!
If you haven’t been to church since you were a kid, find one this year that teaches from the Bible. If you’ve never talked to your children about God or who Jesus is, incorporating Scripture into your holiday festivities is a great place to start.
What is Advent?
Advent means the arrival of a notable person, place, or thing. In this case, we are referring to the Advent of Jesus, or of his birth (rather than his second coming). Some Christians celebrate advent for Christ’s second coming also, but the verses that will be shared with this project are based on the birth of Christ. If you’re celebrating the second coming of Christ, feel free to find scripture that better suits your needs.
This year Advent runs from December 1 to December 24. The times in which Advent is celebrated changes each year, starting on the Sunday closest to November 30 and running for 4 Sundays. Advent always ends on December 24 since the arrival of Jesus was on the 25th.
Incorporating Advent into our Christmas season is just one way we can center our lives back on Christ. There is nothing wrong with gifts and decorations, but as Christians we need to remember what we are actually celebrating.
Finding Scripture to Celebrate Christmas
If you aren’t familiar with the Bible, it can be an intimidating book. Like my pastor always says, the table of contents is your friend. Scripture in relation to Christmas can be found throughout the entire book. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and ultimately the entire book is about Jesus, but you will want to look for Scripture foretelling his coming, on his birth, and of his teaching.
The following books are great resources on the life of Jesus:
Here is the Scripture I will be using for my advent calendar this year. Feel free to print these out and use them. There are only 19 in this list, so you will have to do some Bible digging for yourself as well. If you have a study Bible with footnotes and cross references in the margins, these Scriptures would be a great way to get into the Bible as a family, reading the referenced verses and discussing what they mean to each of you.
DIY Advent Calendar
This year (and probably the years to come) I will be using an old wooden soda crate for my advent calendar. There are 24 holes, so one hole per day. Fill the hole with anything you like along with Bible verses, including homemade candy, ornaments, “good deed” instructions, small toys. Or just scripture! Find more advent calendar inspiration here.
- wooden soda crate or other materials to hold daily advent items
- 24-craft paper cut to size (mine are 3 1/4 x 2 1/2)
- embellishments (stickers, stamps, scrapbook paper)
- adhesive (tape, glue, finishing nails)
- advent items
- Scripture printed on rolled/folded paper
Embellish and number each label. Adhere to crate, starting with “24” and counting down to Christmas. Fill each hole with Scripture and/or advent items. This project is pretty simple and would make a great craft day project for your littles. Display in a place for guests to see or children to enjoy.