Around our house, we are trying to focus on activities that bring Christ to the center of our thoughts in these weeks of December leading up to the much anticipated Christmas celebration on December 25th. In some homes, recognizing Advent is a yearly tradition. This can include many things, special Bible readings, decorating a Jesse tree, or lighting candles on an Advent wreath. Here are a few resources I found that will make adding a few Christ-centered Advent activities to your planned school-days easier this year.
You will find an explanation of the Advent Celebration HERE. More details about Advent can be found HERE. Even MORE details can be read HERE.
This is an excellent explanation of the Jesse Tree tradition.
Jesse Tree Demonstration from The Homeschool Channel on Vimeo.
You can find the explanation for each of the shown ornaments HERE. Download the devotional guide HERE.
Here’s a good written explanation of the Jesse Tree tradition. It is never too late to start…just extend a few days past Christmas, or double up a few days.
Printable Jesse Tree ornaments (in color) and an accompanying devotional guide can be downloaded HERE.
Another set of printable (very colorful and detailed) ornaments and suggested verses to accompany them is HERE.
For those who would prefer to color their own ornaments, but would appreciate printable patterns, go HERE.
HERE is a second set of simple outline drawings to print, color, and turn into ornaments. There are some excellent directions for making yours more interesting HERE. HERE are the scripture readings and reflections to go with this set. HERE are daily devotionals to go with each ornament. These are from the Reformed Church of America.
One last set for you is HERE. Each set is different in style, so you will want to look at all and decide which ones appeal to you most.
Suggested daily readings can be found HERE, if you want to design your own ornaments, or perhaps use some you already have.
Here is an Advent Coloring book that while simple, might be a good way to involve younger students with your Advent activities.
Make an advent chain with daily Bible verse readings by printing the pages you will find HERE. HERE is an explanation of an Advent Chain, with daily readings listed.
A daily Christian Advent Calendar can be found HERE. It includes crafts, a daily Christmas carol, a daily Bible reading, games, printables, and treats to make. It displays with music, so make sure your volume is down.
Another daily Advent Calendar is HERE. This one includes all of the above, plus online games, and even more printables.
A more solemn Christian Advent Calendar from EWTN with a Bible reading, prayer, and kind action for families to take each day during the Advent season is HERE.
HERE's a fascinating Advent Calendar filled with a new Advent themed classical work of art each day...includes information on the artist.
HERE is a Christian Advent Calendar coloring page. Print this up on card stock, then add one sticker star per day, or color one star each day until Christmas.
Advent coloring pages for little ones can be found HERE…Put all together, they make a book.
HERE are more nice coloring pages. HERE are even more to print and use for kids to color while you do your Advent readings. More pages HERE (some pop-ups, but good pictures).
Make this special "Greatest Gift" Christmas Card with your kids and give it to special people in your lives.
Put these adorable animal and people forms on popsicle sticks and let your kids act out the Christmas story as you read them your favorite Christmas books this season.
Here are Advent and Nativity lesson plans from first-school. HERE is a printable Nativity scene (in bright colors) to print on cardstock and assemble for use with the lessons' activities.
HERE is a set of Advent bulletins for the RCA that would make a great weekly devotional with your kids.
A long list of midi files of Christmas carols and songs including lyrics can be found HERE. Your kids can sing along. They won’t mind that it is all synthesized…they will just love singing.Then they can watch some of these short videos telling the history of some of their favorite carols.
For mom and dad, HERE'S an excellent site with TONS of Christmas song lyrics and real piano music. Each page also includes tidbits about the songwriters. Beautiful artwork, too.
Going caroling? Make your own songbook using the lyric sheets found HERE...with pictures your kids can color. OR this Christmas Songbook is a pdf ready for printing that includes the music.HERE are nice pictures to color that go with some of your favorite Christmas songs.
HERE is some beautiful instrumental background music to enjoy while crafting or reading. These MP3s can be listened to online, or downloaded. This is a collection from 2009, but by scrolling down you will find collections from previous years, all free.
What do you do around your house to make the weeks leading up to our celebration of Christ’s birth more special? Whatever you do in your home, the most important thing to remember is to always put Christ in the center of everything you do. We try to do this all year long, but making an extra-special effort at Christmastime is a treasured part of our December memories.
Blessings to you for a season filled with praises and fun,
By the way: Here's a freebie from last year I couldn't resist adding: Handel's Messiah unit study. Very cool.