There are a lot of ways to prepare Christmas that Christian families can do. Many people are engaged only to the fun and glorious Christmas activities during the Advent period or around 25 days before Christmas. However, there are still families that are bound on the spiritual Christmas preparation in the traditional Advent. My family is included into the conventional one to maintain the purity of Advent. The traditional Advent has a principe that Advent is not a time for having a party or fun, but it is the time to prepare our heart to be ready with the coming of Baby Jesus in our heart.
Here are some suggestions of activities for the spiritual Christmas preparation or traditional Advent.
Devotions are the main preparation that most Christians need to do to prepare our hearts welcoming Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus is the proof of God's love to human. Jesus was born in a very poor place. It reminds us to exemplify the humble and poor people God loves. Many devotions give highlight to the history of salvation:
- From the world creation to Jesus Christ
It is shown how the salvation of human has passed long time. God has chosen various people to precede the presence of Jesus Christ in the human world. Here is an example of the devotion:
Jesus, Light of The World by Candace Crabtree
And the Word Became Flesh: A 90-Day Chronological Journey Through the New Testament by Kathy Gossen
- The story, characters, and plot around the nativity.
It reminds us to respect many people as there are various conditions and characters involved, start from the poor to the rich, the kind to the cruel, the humble to the proud. Here is an example: More Than A Holiday by Scott and Sarah Nichols
- The Personality of Jesus (God)
Some devotions will reveal the personality of Jesus as human that all Christians need to patronize. If you like to have some craft and fun things beside devotion, Melk The Christmas Monkey will be a great resource to accompany your devotions.
Singing Practice or Preparing the Songs
Christmas cannot be separated from the carols of hymns expressing the joy of this holiday. During Advent, it is great to practice singing the Christmas Carols or Hymns and to discuss the meaning behind the lyrics. Practicing the songs will also get us ready to be involved in the church mass and any Christmas celebration. Here are a couple of books to help us getting deeper with the Christmas songs:
Gloria, A Christmas Hymns Study by Kim Sorgius
SQUILT Christmas Carols by Mary Prather
Prayers and Bible reading without any action in the real life is just useless and very dry. The essence of Advent or the spiritual preparation of Christmas is the concern toward others, especially those who needs help spiritually and wealth physically. Doing as best as we can for others will help us to gain spiritual contentment.
Going to the orphanages with your family will be a great idea to take an action in Advent. It will give a feel of grateful for you and kids of being able to have family.
Advent Traditions and Activities
There are some Advent traditions to engage the spiritual preparation of Christmas. Here are my favorite:
- The Jesse Tree
Basically it is an art work showing the genealogy of Jesus which is depicted in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. It can be a tree shape with circles showing pictures symbolize the story of Jesus' ancestors according to the gospels. Here are a couple of free printables for constructing The Jesse Tree with your family:
The Jesse Tree – Advent Study by Erica
Jesse Tree Advent Calendar by Caryn
- Advent Wreath
This is a set of 4 candles that symbolize the 4 weeks of advent. They are lit up one by one according the weeks in the devotion time. In the first week of advent, a candle is lit. In the second week of advent, 2 candles are lit. And so on.
There are a lot of advent activities for kids I have collected in my pinterest board that you might check them out. Some of them have less spiritual value or less traditional, but they are still fun to do.