Now that it's November 1st... let's talk Christmas! I'm so excited for the holiday season this year. Last year I started looking for meaningful ways to celebrate Christmas with small kids and I think I've found three of the best ideas out there. I love all the magic and fun of the holidays but I never want the truth of the gospel to come second. I truly desire to have (fun!) traditions to implement that point to Jesus and open up meaningful conversations with our kids as they get older. I'm excited to share what we are implementing with you today!
Crew + Co. Advent Cards
My friend Courtney is crazy talented and has all kinds of products we love in our house (her kid tees are our favorite tees for our littles!). This year she's created beautiful scripture cards that follow along with the Jesus Storybook Bible that lead to Christ's birth! The idea is to read each corresponding story everyday and use the scripture cards as visual reinforcement. I love that these cards can be displayed all throughout the month as a visual reminder of scripture.
I have several friends with older kids who will be using these this year and I'm excited to learn from them in the years ahead! We will start this with our babies this year and I'm so excited to have something simple and meaningful to experience with them during the advent season. Right now they are on sale for $22 so go snag them before the price goes up! If you're interested in these I would definitely order in the next two weeks to make sure you have them on December 1st!
The Star from Afar
The Star from Afar is similar in concept to the Elf on the Shelf but incredibly different in execution. The Star from Afar comes with a book, a little barn, nativity people, the wise men, and a star. The idea is to put the star in a new place everyday (this is where you can be creative or not creative as you want! Ha!) and then as the kids find it, you move the wise men next to it, just as they followed the star to Jesus. On Christmas morning the star is above the stable and they will move the wise men to Jesus! (Yes, I know the wise men weren't there when Jesus was a newborn) I think this will be such a fun "game" for the kids when they get a little older and I hope that it opens up conversations with them all month long. I feel like there are so many ways you could expand this to fit your personal family and I think this will be a fun one for years to come. So much fun and excitement in searching for the star each morning, but with great meaning! I found it at our local specialty toy store, but they can also be found online!
The Giving Manger
The idea behind the giving manger is explained in the BEAUTIFUL book that comes along with the kit. It's written in a poetic way and it's just really really beautiful with neat illustrations. The idea is to reflect the life of Jesus as he often gave and gave to others through his time and service, always loving those around him. Throughout the month of December you display the manger with the bundle of straw next to it. With each act of service, you place a piece of straw in the manger. On Christmas morning, you place baby Jesus in the manger, laying on top of all your gifts of service. I feel like this could easily become a "show" for kids to want to be recognized for the "good" they are doing, but the book lays it out so well and each example the person "quietly" adds straw to the manger. It's not about recognition, but it's about humbling serving others. The book gives several examples, a mom doing a child's chores and giving them a note to say "go and play". A sister shoveling snow because she knows it's her brother's least favorite chore. Siblings leaving food and toys at a needy neighbor's door. It gives really sweet examples of how to give service in an "unseen" way, not to look for praise but to humbly serve those around you. I honestly think this will be a great opportunity for Tyler and I to practice this in our marriage until the kids are old enough to participate! I really look forward to this tradition in the years to come. You can but it online!
Campbell and Crawford are obviously not old enough to really take part in any of these, but I want to be intentional to start these traditions so that in years to come I don't "get busy" and let these opportunities slip away. So for the next couple of years we will be intentional to do these things so that in the years to come it's truly a tradition for our family. Praying that even in these small years the Lord will stamp eternity on the hearts of my children.
I'm so excited to start these sweet traditions this year! Is there anything intentional that you do with your family to celebrate the birth of Christ?