Maximize Your Christmas with a Family Advent Guide

Photo by Matt Brichetto

Photo by Matt Brichetto

What would happen if family time & Advent both collided with just a little intentionally this Christmas season?

What is Advent?

Another year is closing out quickly, which means that Christmas is right around the corner. If your family is anything like mine you have trekked up to your attic or storage space recently to grab boxes of decorations. You've also made a trip or several to your local Christmas tree source and local hardware store for some important seasonal necessities. Now your house is filled with new smells, sights, lights, and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas with these exciting extras. Both my 3-year-old and 8-month-old have loved the last week of Christmas setup, from the tree to our exterior illumination experiment to a new Christmas village from my grandfather. My wife and I have intentionally planned several family trips in December to a few favorite New Orleans Christmas spots/activities. But as exciting as all the extra parties, activities, lights, and family time is, this season is really at the core about so much more. This season is in fact one of the most important times for us to reflect, renew, and refresh, because this season is ultimately about when the Lord solved the world's problem and provided the One through whom redemption would come.

So while our city offers an array of options for families to have fun and create memories, I want to also encourage parents to purposefully carve out a little time to intentionally read an old story in a fresh new way. The Advent season isn't something new;  in fact, it has been celebrated for over 2,000 years.  According to a very scientific Google search, the word advent means "the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event." Historically the church has claimed this season as a time to celebrate the first coming of Jesus and anticipate His second coming.

What Should I Do Next?

In partnership with Adriel Booker, our Vintage Kids Ministry is excited to provide a Family Advent Guide through the Jesus Storybook Bible, which provides every family the opportunity to read through the story of redemption from December 1-24.

So let me encourage you to examine your family's weekly rhythms to see if you could begin to read a story at dinner time or bed time. You could really do it anytime, but these times are important for parents in our roles as teachers and counselors to our children. A short 5-10 minute story and discussion time over the next 25 days could not only revolutionize your children's lives, but I also guarantee that God's story will come alive for you in a fresh way through a well-written Children's Bible with beautifully illustrated stories.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
— Deuteronomy 6:6-9