Hello friends– So, so many years ago, when our boys were 3 and 1 year old, we lived for a year in Costa Rica. When Christmas rolled around, I started to think that I wanted our small guys to understand about the birth of Jesus. There was no Target store full of Christmas trappings, but one day downtown I passed a bakery with bread baked into rings. I scooped one up, put in 4 candles and we had our homespun version of an advent wreath. And so our family’s advent celebrations began…
I know there are probably fancy prescribed advent liturgies somewhere, but over the years raising 4 kids, we kept it simple. The four Sundays before Christmas, we would read a little, sing a bit, eat cookies and pray. I loved those times together. Here’s the idea:
Sunday #1– Someone little in the family lights just one candle on the wreath.
–Read Luke 1:30-33 and talk about the annunciation, the angel coming to tell Mary she would have a holy son.
–Sing “Silent Night”
–Read this part of the story from a Children’s Christmas Nativity Book. We used Jesus the Child by Jenny Robertson (Zondervan) and Tomie de Paola’s The First Christmas is a beautiful pop-up version of the Nativity.
Sunday #2– Light 2 candles on the wreath.
–Read Luke 2:4-7 and talk about the trip to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth.
Sing “Away in a Manger”
–Read the birth account from your Christmas story book.
–Cookies for all!
Sunday #3– Light 3 candles.
–Read Luke 2:8-14 and remember when the angels appeared to the shepherds to tell of Jesus’ arrival.
–Sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
–Read the Shepherds story from a Christmas book.
Sunday #4– Light 4 candles
–Read Matthew 2:9-11
–Sing “We Three Kings.”
–Read the story of the 3 Kings from your Christmas story book.
–Don’t forget the cookies.
So for a lot of years I’ve been baking up that advent wreath (with easy Bridgeford Frozen Bread Dough). And a couple Christmases ago when our Grandgirls were her for Christmas, we lit all the candles and did the whole story in one sitting after Christmas Eve dinner. It made my heart so happy–the dearest part of my Christmas that year.
P.S. I don’t think Laurel is bored in the this picture– or asleep. (really, believe me)–just looking down on sweet Charlotte– I love those two girls.