The season of Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas Day and there are so many simple ways to celebrate the Advent season at home with your family: candles, crafts, songs, Scripture readings. During this time of year, here are some simple ways we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with our children on an easy, daily schedule.
“This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.“
Light the Candles
One simple way to celebrate the Christmas season is with Advent candles. During the holiday season, we display a candle holder like the one above from Hobby Lobby. I just ordered Advent candles via Amazon, 3 purple and 1 pink. On the first Sunday of Advent, we light the one candle for hope during dinner. This is known as the Prophet’s Candle so we talk about the hope of a coming Messiah from the Old Testament.
Each night during week 1, we light the same candle and sing the same carol. We will also do a family Scripture reading during this time. This is an easy family tradition to share the Christmas story with our small children every night.
During week 2, we will light the next purple candle for love along with the first purple candle. During week 3, we will light two purple candles and the pink one for hope, love, and joy. On the fourth Sunday, we light all three purples and the pink candle representing peace. You can also light a final white Christ candle on Christmas morning.
If you only have white candles available at home, you could use small pieces of colored ribbon to tie around the candle base to represent the different types of candles.
Another suggestion is to simply read one chapter from the book of Luke each night starting on Dec. 1. Since there are 24 chapters in the book, we will complete it on Christmas Eve! I just leave the Bible, the candles, the lighter and a hymnal on the dinner table so it’s easily accessible each night. Repeating the Christmas story multiple times is a wonderful way to help children commit the Christmas story to memory. It really is a special time for the whole family to remember the Nativity scene.
Along with the New Testament Scripture readings and candle lightings, we sing a hymn each night, the same one each night for the week. I am hoping they will memorize the text. Even though they may not fully grasp the words now, I know it will make an impression and they be able to recall it in the years ahead. Music is a wonderful way to retell the Christmas story.
Sing an Advent Hymn During the Liturgical Season
Week 1 for Hope: O Come, O Come Emmanuel, light one purple candle, read from Luke
Week 2 for Love: What Child is This?, light two purple candles, read from Luke
Week 3 for Joy: Joy to the World, light two purple candles and one pink candle, read from Luke
Week 4 for Peace: O Holy Night, light all of the candles and complete the book of Luke on Christmas Eve
During the celebration of Advent, I print the words of the hymns and Christmas carols so the older kids can read along and grasp it more fully. We also listen to recordings of the song so our younger children can hear it sung and more easily memorize it. This is a simple and meaningful way to celebrate Advent at home with our children. It is one of their favorite Advent traditions.
Coloring and Crafts
During Advent celebrations, younger children may enjoy completing coloring sheets throughout the week. Look here for Advent coloring sheets. Motherhood on a Dime has great ideas for completing an easy daily craft with construction paper, markers, and other simple crafting tools. It is one of my kids’ favorite ways to build a sense of anticipation for celebrating the birth of Jesus and reminding them of the true meaning of Christmas. You can even decorate your own Advent calendar with your crafty designs.
Advent Books to Read at Home
There are so many wonderful books about Advent you can read with children to celebrate the coming of Jesus. Here are a few of my favorites and we pull them out every year, along with the Christmas decorations and Christmas music. All of our favorite traditions at one time!
The Advent Storybook is a beautiful Advent book filled with 25 Bible stories on the true meaning of Christmas. The whole family will enjoy this lovely story of Jesus.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp is a beautiful book full of devotions, Scripture readings, discussion questions, and activities that your whole family will love.
Our kids love the Jesus Storybook Bible: A Christmas Collection. This collection contains stories, poems, and songs to share about the birth of Christ during this special season.
Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas by Sarah Young helps young readers connect the Old Testament stories to the New Testament stories of the birth of our Savior. This book provides a great opportunity for parents to talk to their children about how God planned Jesus to save creation from the very beginning of time.
I hope this list of simple ways to celebrate Advent with your family encourages you to celebrate the birth of Christ throughout the holiday season with your children. If you are looking for other great books to read with your kids during the holidays, hop over to this post. For ideas on how to make some great Christmas treats with your kids while you celebrate Advent, check out this article.