Christmas is a busy time of year. Parties, gifts, decorating, preparing food, and travel. We do it all in a short amount of time.
Celebrating Advent, the birth of Jesus, can be put on the back burner. It becomes one more thing to do in a never ending lists of demands. I DO NOT want to be another voice of holiday guilt ( I know you have plenty of that!). Instead, I want to give you simple, low-cost ways to celebrate Advent with your family.
The truth is, you may not be the family that sits down to an advent devotional each night and THAT IS OKAY. We aren't those people. We make a simple plan to do what we can. Some years, we kill it. We meet multiple nights a week and do all the things. Other years we got together 4 times total throughout Advent season. Fine. It's gonna be okay. We tried.
You can add simple ways to celebrate Jesus into your family that doesn't take a lot of time or money. Do what works for you. We listed a few of our favorite simple, low-cost ways to celebrate Advent. If one doesn't work this year, try something else next year!
1. SERVE OTHERS
Christmas is about more than gifts, so decide in advance how you will celebrate this season. Set a budget on gifts and decide you will collect memories not things this year. One easy way to spend time together is serving others as a family. Look for ways to serve others in your community.
Your church may have lots of programs and serving opportunities for your family. Take advantage of those things. Talk with your family on the way to those things and on the way home about WHY we serve others during the Holidays.
Here are a few ideas:
Make Christmas cookies for your letter carriers and sanitation workers
Volunteer at a food pantry
Shop for Christmas presents for a child in need
Donate coats for a coat drive
Deliver Christmas meals to families in need in your town
2. Grab an Advent Book or App
There are so many great Advent resources out there. Your whole family can learn and study about the reason for the season. When our kids were babies, there were very few resources on the market for families. These days, there are so many talented women who have wrote and designed the most amazing resources! Some you need to purchase ahead of time, but many are PDF downloads or free with an app. You can print your PDF book and have it bound at any office supply store for $3.00! It is a bargain.
Here is a list of our favorite Advent Resources:
She Reads Truth has resources for the whole family this year. Beautifully done and an easy way to incorporate Advent into any families life. If you miss the shipping deadline, go get the app.
Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda White. I love this book. It is a simple download PDF for kids and families. Amanda gives lessons for each day of Advent. For busy families, she gives a condensed schedule. Each lesson comes with a simple craft to reinforce the lesson. All lessons are centered in the Bible. It is a fun way to celebrate Advent with your little kids.
Ann Voskamp has great FREE printables and Advent resources every year. I still have an Advent devotional she wrote years ago printed and bound.
3. Start Luke 2 Challenge
For kids and adults 10 and up, try doing a Luke 2 challenge. We have a simple FREE download here for you to use with your family. The Luke 2 Challenge is simply to challenge your family to memorize together Luke 2 1-20, the story of Jesus' birth, throughout the Christmas season.
Our kids do this with their Awana club each year and I join them! It is a simple way to reinforce the meaning of Christmas. Twenty verses may feel like a lot to remember ( and it is!) but once two or three of you are memorizing it, you'll hear it a million times a week! It is catchy and fairly easy to do.
Related: Start a Luke 2 Challenge
If you have a mix of kids from 4 and up, have the little ones memorize one or two verses while the older children to the full thing! Everyone can participate. You'll be amazed at what they can memorize, especially if everyone is involved!
4. DIY Advent calendar
Consider making your own Advent calendar or wreath for your home. A simple wreath with candles or a wall calendar will do. Place in your kitchen so your whole family will see it and be reminded of the season. Once I have our Advent calendar out, my kids remind me constantly to keep up on our Bible readings and devotionals!
Pinterest has many different frugal and cute DIY ideas for you to try. Here are a few of our favorites.
Celebrating Advent with your family doesn't have to be complicated or cost a lot of money. Do what you can. Experiment and try again. Spend time collecting memories, not things.
What are your favorite low-cost ways to celebrate Advent with your family?