Growing up, my family lit the candles of the advent wreath each night at dinner. Beginning 4 Sundays before Christmas, the same candle was lit every day for a week. The second week, that first candle plus one more was lit, so by the time we reached Christmas all 4 candles in the ring were lit. On Christmas morning, we also lit the center candle. Each week had a theme – hope, preparation, peace, and love.
With the lighting of the candles, my parents led us in a short themed devotion. As believers, we were not only celebrating Jesus’ first coming as a baby and the Messiah, but also eagerly looking forward to Jesus’ return to earth. You can learn more about the history and tradition of advent by reading this article.
My husband and I swapped the pink and purple candles for some white ones, but otherwise we’ve continued the meaningful tradition for our family. Along the way, we’ve tried some resources that didn’t work for us and some we love. With the ones we love, I’ve also shared some from reliable sources that I’d like to try. Let me know if I left any of your favorites off the list!
Family Tree of Christ by Tiny Theologians – We have not tried these cards, but I love the idea of them and everything we’ve tried from Tiny Theologians has been excellent. They’re running a great sale right now!
Advent Videos by The Bible Project – Ditto for The Bible Project – we love every resource they’ve offered. We started this past week with the first video, and it was a great kicking off point.
Come, Let Us Adore Him by Paul Tripp – I’m reading this myself in the morning at home, and we’re reading the family with kids tie-in at the end of each daily reading together as a family at night. I love that it includes a scripture reading each time and that it’s just enough of a prompt to start a conversation, but not so much that it feels like we’re reading from a script.
She Reads Truth Advent Conversation Cards – These cards have cute illustrations, and questions for three age levels of kids on the back. The original version wasn’t quite enough for us, but they’ve improved these cards by adding more. Could be something we look to buy again in the updated version.
John Piper’s Solid Joys Daily Devotional is an under 5 minute devotional podcast featuring advent specific devotions during the month of December. I am adding it in this year.
Need more ideas? Check out this roundup from Risen Motherhood. Advent has already begun for this year, but I might be looking to purchase some that are discounted now for next year.