An Ultimate Advent Bucket List for the Whole Family www.joyinthehome.com
For many years, our family has celebrated Christmas differently than how my husband and I were raised. Although we both grew up in a Christian home and loved the way our family's traditions consisted of mix of both of our favorite growing up traditions, we wanted to have a deeper focus for this wonderful season… Christmas.

When I see this word, I think ‘mas' means more and of course with ‘Christ' at the beginning of the word, I read it ‘more of Christ'.

If you want to go deeper this Christmas season, I would love to share some a bucket list that may just help you do that… have more of Christ in your celebrations of Christmas.

Have a Cookie Decorating Party

One of my traditions that my mom still does to this day is make Christmas sugar cookies. Last year, I purchased a set of nativity cookie cutters and hosted a cookie decorating party with some close friends.  I absolutely love my mom's sugar cookie recipe, so imagine my joy when I was able to convert it to a healthier whole wheat recipe that taste a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Have a Nativity Scavenger Hunt

Since our oldest child was one year old, we have always made it a tradition to go looking at Christmas lights. As the years have gone by, it became less and less of the nativity and more about Santa Claus and reindeer. That is why I decided to create a Nativity Scavenger Hunt for our family.  We really enjoyed search for the items on the list!  Even our teenagers were enjoying it.

Have a focus of Giving to Others in Need

Last year, we boxed our first Operation Christmas Child box.  We quickly knew that this would translate into a new tradition for our family, as we all really were blessed by it. We enjoyed getting some friends together and making it a homeschool service project!

Go Christmas Caroling in Your Neighborhood

Our family has been bringing back an old tradition of Christmas Caroling. I remember the first time we did this in our new neighborhood, one family said, “People really do this? I thought it was only on television!”  Taking the message of ‘peace on earth', ‘joy to the world' and ‘oh holy night' to our neighborhood during the last hectic days of Christmas was not only a joy to us, but to our listening neighbors.

Visit a Nursing Home

Many families think about visiting a nursing home during this special season, but have you ever considered reading the story of Jesus' birth to the residents? Some of them may have never really listened to the story of deliverance from the New Testament and in these last precious years, they may be ripe for this message and for Jesus.

Experience Truth in the Tinsel as an Advent Curriculum

truthinthetinsel
Truth in the Tinsel is a 24 day Advent curriculum that includes scripture reading, ornament making and other fun activities, which include printables and templates.  Your children, preschool through elementary, will love this deeper focus during the Christmas holiday that will draw them closer to their Messiah.

Create an Advent Wreathe

Last year, our family read Jotham's Journey and did the advent activity included that allows us to construct an advent wreathe and light the candles each night of advent. My children really enjoyed this visual to the celebrating the life of Christ as we switched our focus onto Advent.

 

Donate Old Toys to a Local Charity

Let's face it, every mother desires to clear out old toys before Christmas day, so there is room for the new things. Why not take this opportunity to introduce your children to giving to less fortunate children and get the help to get that job checked off your Christmas to-do list. Your children may only find one or two things the first few times they do this, but you will be planting the seed of giving in their hearts and it will grow over time.

Raise Money for Orphans

In July, I organized Blogging for Orphans, which was a mission to give Christmas in July to the orphans of Door of Hope in Palawan, Philippines. I encouraged my readers to raise money to sponsor one child for a year. That is only $300!  At this time of the year, people are looking for ways to donate some money to benefit others and to help with their tax write offs.  Will you consider doing this? I have a free printable to help you!

Celebrate Jesus the Light of the World

Celebrate Jesus: A wonderful Advent resource for families!

This ebook, Celebrate Jesus the Light of the World has a focus on scripture, carols, crafts and activities for advent. It also includes a study guide for teens and parents, allow your family to go deep into having more of Christ this Christmas season. It is available in King James Version and in English Standard Version.

Do a Name of Jesus Craft

My son absolutely loved doing this craft based off Isaiah 9:6 that highlights many of the names of Jesus. As he worked on his Name of Jesus craft, he would asked me about what the names meant and enjoyed hearing a Christmas song that was based on this verse.

Make a Jesse Tree

Last Christmas, I learned about the Jesse Tree and fell in love with the idea. In searching for how to implement I came across this book The Jesse Tree: A Family Craft for the Story of Advent.  This is really a wonderful way to display the lineage of Christ.

Be a Secret Jesus

In scripture, we are encouraged to bless others without letting others know, not even our other hand (Matt. 6).  Imagine the impact in your family, if you each decided to be a secret Jesus for the purpose of blessing each other, your neighbors and friends.  Be sure to subscribe to my blog and receive a free Secret Jesus ebook coming December 2nd, for subscribers only!

Play Bible Trivia

Most of us love family game night, why not make it a Christmas tradition to play Bible Trivia during Advent, for another opportunity to go deeper with more of Christ this season.

Visit Someone that is Home Bound

Take Christmas to someone who isn't able to make it out of the house for health reasons.  You may want to take a movie like Christmas Shoes, Christmas Blessings or Christmas Hope! These are my favorite movies during this season. You may want to try making my Caramel Popcorn to go along with the movie.

Take Groceries to a Needy Family

This is something that we love to do as a family. If you have a family that you know is having a rough time, go shopping for them. Drop off the food on their porch, ring the door bell and try to drive away before you are noticed.

These are the kinds of activities that will make your advent more about Christmas, truly bringing peace and joy to your family that will last into the new year.

Use an Advent Calendar

Dayspring offers some great holiday advent items that you will love to use to bring this season deeper into your family's celebration. If you have younger children in your home, you will enjoy having an advent calendar for this special count down.

Give Them Their Own Manger

Since my first child was little, we made sure that they had a manger scene of their own to play with when they wanted to react the story of Jesus' birth. My favorite one is the Little People Nativity set.

Read Some Meaningful Christmas Books

I love taking the month of December to just read short picture books to my children.  Here is my Book List for a Meaningful Christmas for you to find some to read to your family this year!


 
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