One part of making my house a home is creating traditions that my family can look forward to year to year. I want my kids to look back on the years we have together and remember just that, my mom thought of me on this day. I want them to remember the details of the little things that counted; and I have a free advent printable to help!
As a child, my mother made many special moments. It wasn’t that we had large parties, or great expensive gifts, it was the little things that she did for each holiday that I remember. She acknowledged them all; birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day. Each special day would have a nicely decorated table, down to the themed confetti. There was always a little something special for each of us that let us know she had been thinking of just you when she got it.
So, as the advent season has come upon us, I’ve been pondering what to do this year. We always read books. I am a book lover through and through and we now have a children collection big enough for us to read 2 books each day throughout December up to Christmas. For the last few years we’ve enjoyed the books in different ways…. we’ve wrapped them up and let them open one a night, we did a book lottery where they chose a number which corresponded with a book, or we’ve put them in a basket and let them enjoy them the whole season.
Each year the kids look forward to reading the books. Everyone has a favourite. But, by far, the winners are the two recordable books they got for Christmas several year ago. My parents purchased them at Hallmark two years in a row. They read the books – adding their own flares, goof ups, and laughter. These are the first books that my kids look for when the Christmas bins come out.
As Izzy gets older, I also want him to learn more about what it is that we are truly celebrating. Our family says Merry Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the start of an earthly life that brought us the greatest gift possible, eternal life. Through his life, Jesus taught us that he came to serve us. I want to continue this great passion for service in my children as well.
So, after much googling on the internet, I have gathered my favourite bits and pieces of Advent traditions, old and new. This year, I am incorporating tradition, teaching, and service. As part of my acts of service I also made a free printable to help you plan out the advent season (if you are like me and work better under pressure with Advent technically starting yesterday and for most people starting two days from now). But don’t worry – the free advent printable will help you get organized!
My good friend recommended a series of Advent books starting with Jotham’s Journey
This series has 4 books and you use 1 book per year. You start on the traditional advent, 4 Sundays before Christmas Day. Mr. Ytreeide is a wonderful story teller and his tales absorbs both young and old as you journey with Jotham and begin to see and understand the old testament setting, culture, and scriptural applications
Each chapter is short, about 4-5 pages per day, and tells part of the story while explaining scriptures that apply. The boys and I plan to sit down each day and read while they play or draw. We are on our second day today and Izzy begged me not to stop reading when we came to the end of todays pages. So, I think this one is going to be a winner! If you’re interested in getting a copy for your family see the resource at the bottom of this page.
Last year we did big advent calendars with the kids. Izzy got a lego one and Mickey Blue a Wow Toys one. Over this past year though we have been paring down our toys and trying not to accumulate so much “stuff”. So, this year I opted to do activities as part of our everyday advent. I have also picked scriptures to read each day with the kids.
We have the sweetest Advent calendar that my aunt got for us years ago. I haven’t always known how to use it because it has little pockets and with many small hands around I was worried about things getting taken at the wrong times. This could still be a challenge with Mickey Blue this year but we’re going to give it a whorl anyways.
So, without further ado, I present to you our FREE advent printable planner for 2016. Included in this package are an overview calendar page (for planning out your events based on dates/days of the week), blank advent scripture planner, blank advent activity planner, printable filled activity and scripture cards and templates to create your own cards.
If you want to follow along as we do our advent activities, you can subscribe by entering your email on the right hand side of this page and get updates on all my new posts.
Don’t miss our progress: