One of the aims of graceKIDS! is to capitalize on the natural wonder of childhood, and few seasons are as opportune as Advent. Amid twinkling lights and jingling carols, what better way to bring Scripture to life than to capture a child’s senses with the wonder of the very first Christmas? This holiday season, check out five simple ideas for dialing up the wonder of Advent.
Take a Hike
Go for a long walk. Map the course ahead of time, so you can tell your kids how it would have compared to Mary and Joseph’s 90 mile trek to Bethlehem. (For instance, if you walk two miles, tell them Mary and Joseph would have done this 45 times!) Carry backpacks filled with water to imagine the load they carried…and for drinking! Explain that their journey through the Judean desert would have been hilly and rainy, and probably taken ten days because Mary was pregnant. It would be roughly 30 degrees during the day and freezing at night, with the threat of lions, bears, boars, and robbers. Wonder at the faith and faithfulness of Mary and Joseph.
Spread blankets outside and stargaze. Tell your children the story of how angels appeared to shepherds in Luke 2:8-20. Remind them that shepherds were considered unimportant. They weren’t “special” like kings and queens; they were ordinary and unpopular. Yet God chose to reveal Himself to them. Imagine how you would feel if angels suddenly appeared in the sky. Wonder at the goodness and glory of God.
Pass the Popcorn
Watch a live-action rendition of the birth of Christ, such as The Nativity Story, with older children. Be ready to press pause and answer questions about Pontius Pilate and peer pressure, arranged marriage, John the Baptist and more. Wonder at the reality of the very first Christmas.
Search for Treasure
Fill a box or “treasure chest” with three things: gold paper (or play coins), tree bark, and perfume. Hide it and play a game of “hotter or colder” to find it. Explain that these treasures represent the gifts of the magi: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold was an expensive gift for royalty. By giving it to Jesus, the magi were acknowledging that He is King. Discuss the significance of the Kingship of Jesus in our lives. Frankincense was made from a special type of tree bark and most commonly used by priests to burn as incense. Explain that Jesus is the greatest Priest of all because He sacrificed His own life to save us. Finally, myrrh is a type of perfume. Back then it was often used for burial. Talk about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Wonder at the gospel.
Pick up an Advent Box
Last but not least, pick up a free Advent Box at your Grace campus. Every year, Grace hands out Advent Boxes full of ways to add meaning and spiritual memories to your holiday season. Each box includes:
- Daily, beautiful countdown cards for anticipating Christmas Day
- Devotions designed for little kids and big ones, too
- Directions and supplies for weekly family activities
- Advent candles to light throughout the month
Advent boxes are available now!