Christmas break can be stressful during typical years, so with the unusual circumstances we have faced in 2020, we want to help families make the most of these special times. Here are 6 tips for making the holidays a relaxing, restful season of celebrating Advent with your family.
How To Celebrate Advent as a Family
1) Study a Daily Advent Devotional
Advent is a season of anticipation. From the moment sin entered the world, God promised he would send us a Savior. Generations waited for a coming king, but Christ came as a baby born in an animal stall and placed in a manger.
Over time, our Advent celebrations with family and friends have become associated with travel, food, and presents. While these things are good, sometimes your family needs to refocus on the heart of the season.
2) Craft a Jesse Tree
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.”
Jesus’ genealogy is directly connected to David and his father Jesse. The Jesse tree is either a real or artificial tree you purchase or make for your home. On it, you hang ornaments each day that correspond with the many passages of Scripture pointing to the coming Messiah.
There are numerous passages throughout the Old Testament that point to the coming of Christ. You can expand on your Advent Devotional by making an ornament for each one and placing it on your Jesse Tree.
3) Spend Dedicated Time Together as a Family
Sometimes we can focus so much on seeing friends and extended family that we forget to make the most of our time together. Carve out a day, weekend, or at least a morning/afternoon to spend quality time together as a family. Trade the television and video games for a hike, board games, afternoon in the park, or whatever else you enjoy.
4) Serve the Community as a Family
In addition to spending dedicated quality time together, your family can serve your community as well. There are often more opportunities to serve during the Christmas season. You can make shoebox gift packages for Samaritan’s Purse, feed the hungry, donate gently used items, or engage any number of projects throughout Northville.
5) Sing the Carols and Hymns Together
Some of the most beautiful Christian hymns center on the Advent of Christ. Make a point to sing the carols and hymns together and take time to explain their meanings. Here are a few of the songs to include on your list:
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing
- Come, O Come, Emmanuel
- Come Let Us Adore Him
- Silent Night
- Hark A Thrilling Voice is Sounding
- Angels We Have Heard On High
- Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
- Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
- Away In A Manger
- Holy Night
- Come All Ye Faithful
- Go, Tell It On The Mountain
- Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
- What Child Is This?
It is common and understandable that your children will anticipate gifts as Christmas Day approaches. You may be able to at least deemphasize that focus by avoiding frequent shopping trips with the kids in tow and talking frequently about what they want for Christmas. God has given us the greatest gift in the appearance of our Savior.
This may be an unusual year for families in Northville, but Advent is a time to reset and find rest. Just as those before anticipated the appearance of the Messiah, we wait patiently for the return of Christ. Your family needs the comfort found in the gospel more than ever. This Christmas season, help them focus on and celebrate Advent. If you would like to know more about how we emphasize Christ in our school and help students develop a Christian worldview, please reach out online or give us a call.