For about 7-8 years now, we’ve spent the month of December doing Christmas family advent activities each day. These simple religious activities have been such a special part of our holiday season and allows us to remember the reason we are celebrating. Plus, taking 5-10 minutes a day for scriptures, simple acts of service, books and music guarantees time to connect with each other during a busy time of year.
Of course, this year our family Christmas advent activities, like everything else, will look a bit different. But even though we won’t be doing nearly as many activities outside the home, that means we’ll have extra time to spend on our beloved at-home advent activities.
I thought I’d share our plan to make our family advent traditions special this year. I hope it inspires you to enjoy some meaningful family time this advent season, as well!
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Our 2020 Christmas Family Advent Activities: Advent for Kids
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Family Advent Activities for Kids and Toddlers: Focus on Service
The most important part of our family advent activities are the scriptures and service. While in the past, other pieces might have gotten occasionally neglected on busy evenings, these are the two things we try to fit in every day to help guide the season.
While I work hard to create Christmas magic for my kids, I really want my kids to think about making Christmas magic for someone else. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about gifts and fun activities for themselves. But it’s important to me that each day includes a conscious effort for them to think about others, which is the meaning behind our celebrations.
This year, instead of a simple service scripture, we’ll be doing the Global Service Advent. For this, we’ll learn about people and needs in a country for each day leading up to Christmas. I hope these service advent activities for kids a) help us feel gratitude for our blessings and b) help us remember others challenges and help them however we can.
I want my kids thinking of ways they can not only experience joy, but also how to inspire it.
Religious Advent for Kids: Advent Scriptures for Kids
For years, we did this simple alphabet scripture advent. I made little baggies and we put one little piece of paper in each one, and the kids took turn pulling them out. We read the scripture and discussed. It was the perfect family Christmas advent advent activity for toddlers!
Since some of our kids are a bit older now, and since we’ve done that scripture advent activity so many times, we decided to switch things up a bit this year. Plus, in the past, we’ve had one scripture for learning about the Christmas story and a second one that connected to our daily service. This year, I decided to streamline and just do one scripture.
I’m SO excited to do this 25 Days of Christ advent that has a short scripture story in a beautiful book and a corresponding ornament each day (that are each stored in their own beautiful advent bags). I think it will be so special and help us as we study the life and ministry of Christ and the circumstances of His birth.
Picture Book Advent for Kids
For years, I’ve wrapped up 25 of our favorite Christmas picture books at the beginning of the season. Then each evening, the kids take turns opening up the book fo the day. It’s one of my favorite traditions for advent!
While I could just set them out, there’s something about wrapping them that makes it so fun and exciting. We all love seeing what favorite book appears each day! It also makes it so we definitely manage to read all of our favorites aloud.
I will say that I enjoy wrapping and am more than happy to wrap a bunch of books while watching my favorite Christmas movie. If this doesn’t sound fun to you, skip it!
Family Advent Schedule: 10-20 minutes a day of Scriptures, Service, Books, and Music
Here’s what we’ll do each day:
- Morning (5 minutes):
- Service: Global Service Advent – learn about an opportunity to do good in countries around the world
- Evening (5-15 minutes):
In addition to that, the grown ups will have the opportunity to read a Christmas devotional each evening (here’s our list). The whole thing will be short and sweet – only about 10-15 minutes per day – but meaningful.
Fun, At Home Advent Activities: Christmas Traditions at Home
In addition to the religious advent activities, I want to add in a few special and fun family holiday activities. Nothing stressful or overblown, but just some simple and sweet advent activity ideas to enjoy time together and do virtual versions of some beloved traditions. Here’s what we’re doing!
- Christmas movies. All the Christmas movies. We never get around to watching all our Christmas movies for kids because there’s just too much going on in December usually. Not this year! We might just watch one every night. 😉
- Open Christmas jammies on Thanksgiving weekend and decorate the tree
- Make neighbor gifts
- Do a virtual Handel’s Messiah sing/play along
- Host a virtual caroling event for a rehabilitation center and to raise money for a non-profit of the kids’ choice
- Decorate snowpeople doors
- Holiday high tea (plan a fancy family afternoon tea at home)
- Decorate gingerbread houses
- Watch a recording of the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes
- Have a hot chocolate bar and watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional
- Make and decorate gingerbread cookies
- Virtual viewing of A Christmas Carol with The Old Vic Theater in London
- Dress up and have a virtual viewing of the Nutcracker
- Visit a drive-through live nativity
- Holiday pajama homeschool day
- “Polar Express” night
- This is always one of our favorite family Christmas activities. We surprise the kids with a golden ticket under their pillows, play a recording of a train whistle, and everyone hops in the car with thermoses of hot chocolate to drive around and look at Christmas lights.
Here are 100+ Christmas Tradition Ideas with Kids!
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Home
I actually love being home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day even in normal years. It’s so cozy and I love feeling the peace of the season and spending the days together. Here’s what we do!
- Christmas Eve family program
- Bethlehem dinner
- We dress up in nativity clothing and sit on the floor to eat food by candlelight that Jesus may have eaten. For dinner, we eat things like hummus, olives, pita, dates, grapes, fruit, cheese, cucumbers, etc. We also usually make homemade falafel!
- Look at photos of our trip to the Middle East
- Play carols on the violin and hand pipe chimes
- Watch the Nativity video
- Bethlehem dinner
- Eat cranberry orange rolls and breakfast slab pie for Christmas breakfast, and fondue for Christmas dinner
I’d love to hear what family advent activities you’re doing this year!
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