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Hello, first day of December! With it comes all the Christmas things and celebrations. A newer-to-us tradition is to celebrate Advent, counting down the days to Jesus’ birth.
Advent translates to “coming” in Latin, referencing the coming of Jesus Christ, born a babe unto us in Bethlehem, the coming of Jesus into the world. Advent is generally the period of four Sundays and weeks within, until Christmas. Many times to simplify this, it’s the 24 days leading to Christmas, from December 1-24, with a celebration on Christmas Day.
There is a lot of tradition with Advent and many ways to celebrate, with lighting candles and calendar countdowns. There is no wrong way when we are celebrating the season as a family and counting down to Jesus’ birth. Choose what works for your family!
In this article I want to talk about a few simplified kid-friendly ways to celebrate advent and Jesus’ birth.
This first tradition is very straightforward and faith-centric! I’ve heard this everywhere online, and while it’s unknown the origin of this (all you have to do is count the number of chapters in Luke and call it tradition) its a wonderful idea to keep the Gospel centered in the home and teach your kids the story and greater narrative of Jesus Christ, His life, and what that means for us. It takes a few minutes, maybe up to ten, to read a chapter in the book of Luke.
This tradition is a wonderful way to teach your kids gratitude, thankfulness, empathy, charity, and many more lessons… all wrapped up in one. Simply find a box to use, and each day your kids choose an item, such as a canned good and hygiene item, to add to the box. These are also things you can stock up on in the days leading into December, so that you won’t have to go anywhere each day to buy the item. Then on Christmas Day, you donate it to a food bank, or homeless shelter. Take this lesson even further, by asking if your family can personally hand these items to those in need at the shelter. I promise you won’t regret it, and your kids won’t forget it.
This tradition piggybacks on the one above – except this time, instead of food or hygiene, you are collecting toys and clothes…plus…they are your OWN gently used items to decluttering. This prompts your kids to sit down and evaluate their clothes and toys…choosing items they are okay parting with, in order to benefit another child in need. They are sacrificing their own temporary joy of the items and in return, gaining tenfold by giving it a new home. Plus, it’s a great way to declutter things in your home while also giving back to those in need. Drive the message even further by personally taking them to the shelter and handing them out…even wrapping the toys and clothes before doing so. (Be sure to ask your local shelter first what needs they have for these items, which you can be sure to fill)
What do you think, mamas? What ways do you want to celebrate advent and the Reason for the season with your family?
~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama
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