of Advent and an invitation

Some weeks ago I began to think and pray about the Christmas season and how to help our little ones understand its meaning.  I also wanted to give them as a Christmas gift a manger scene that they could play with for a long time and use to reenact the story of the birth of Jesus. We finally chose this one. Then I went hunting for some Advent readings that we could use during Bible time each evening that the girls might understand. Ideally I wanted readings that would introduce the figures in the scene day-by-day, to build the sense of anticipation for Jesus’s coming and to help us take a closer look at the whole story together.

After some time of being unable to find just what we had in mind, Alex and I decided to write a series of Advent reflections for our girls. We have found that planning and writing this series together has already led us to rejoice anew in the great gift of Jesus Christ. For each day of Advent we are writing a extremely brief reading and prayer to use as a family and then Alex is planning Bible readings on the same themes for us to do together after the children are in bed. Though Advent begins this year on the last Sunday in November, we will begin on December 1 and have 25 days of readings.

During December I will be writing less posts of the usual sort (if indeed I have a “usual”!) and instead posting daily the readings we have written, in case any of my dear readers are interested in using them as well.

This is a list of the pieces we will introduce each day:
December 1. The (Empty) Stable
December 2. The Green Plants
December 3. The First Sheep
December 4. The Lamb
December 5. The Lantern
December 6. The First Wise Man
December 7. The Second Wise Man
December 8. Mary
December 9. The First Angel
December 10. The Dove
December 11. Joseph
December 12. The Donkey
December 13. The Cow
December 14. The First Shepherd
December 15. The Second Shepherd
December 16. The Second Sheep
December 17. The Second Angel
December 18. The Star
December 19. The Third Wise Man
December 20. The Camel
December 21. Gifts #1
December 22. Gifts #2
December 23. The (Empty) Manger
December 24. The Baby Jesus
December 25.  


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16 Responses to of Advent and an invitation

  1. Therigneys says:

    Looking forward to reading! Is there anything for the 25th? Or just celebrating everything together?

    • betsy says:

      At this point we’re planning to read Luke’s account of Jesus’s birth in Luke 2 with the girls on Christmas Day and view the whole scene together.

  2. I am really looking forward to these, Betsy! What a lovely idea and good reminder to pray for my kiddos in this way as we approach the Advent season. I’m going to chat with my husband pronto – it would seem ideal to simply use the simple goodness I know you will write for our own little family. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. Mom & Dad N. says:

    What a wonderful, creative idea! Thank you for sharing the daily readings with all of us. Dad and I will look forward to them! Love, Mom

  4. Janet says:

    What a blessing for your girls, and your whole family!! I’m looking forward to each day’s entry as I should come to this season with the heart of a child. Thanks

  5. Liz says:

    We have the same Playmobile manger scene…I love it. I bring mine out the day after Thanksgiving and set it up in a place where it can be played with. The hours of “eavesdropping” on children playing with it – priceless!! Enjoy using it during advent. I’m sure your girls will LOVE it!! Again, your creativity astounds me!!

  6. Debara Hafemann says:

    Just as way of comment about your choice of nativity figures.
    Before our move, we asked our grown men….what if anything in
    our attic they wanted to keep. Baseball cards, any camping – climbing –
    backpacking gear, lego and their playmobile!!

    I have made an advent calender for our boys every year of their lives –
    and sometimes they made their own! This year I am making one for
    two boys we’ve come to love here in Scotland…..and to the readings
    I am adding a few bars from a hymn we sang last week in church.

    Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus,
    Quickly come!

    I will include a drawing of their front door….welcome the Christ Child.
    a picture of their cat…wouldn’t he too want to see the baby Jesus?
    a razor scooter……a paper airplane etc.

    with each day – the bible reading, a question – to think about
    and then the little refrain.

    You might ask…..your girls – if you were traveling to the manger
    would you travel on a camel, a double decker bus, a stroller or
    a pink car! 🙂

  7. Pam says:

    Just found you while searching a line from a George Herbert poem. You will be a writer someday. I know it! Your words and thoughts are unique and fresh; view of life is lovely; and you are grounded on Christ. I will follow. God bless.

  8. Aunt Mary says:

    Betsy, I bought a nativity scene my kids could play with when they were little also and it was the best purchase I ever made. They absolutely loved it! We still have it and I’m sure some day they will all want it for their children. What a lovely idea to have a reading a day to go with a piece from the nativity. Looking forward to reading them. I can’t believe how much Harriet is growing. We love you guys! Love, Aunt Mary

  9. Krisie says:

    I love this idea! Will be following and enjoying doing the same with my kids. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Cara says:

    Can’t wait to see what you have written. I am also working on writing some advent stuff for my kiddos. Joe and I start on Dec 1 and light one candle, then on Dec 2 two candles, and so on, and read prophesies of the coming Light of the World. Now that we have little ones, I was wanting to do something for them as well. This is a good idea. Thanks for sharing what you are working on!

  11. Hi Betsy! I’m so excited to use your writings and have forwarded this to a few friends as well. Thanks to you and Alex for doing this. What a blessing.

  12. Lucy says:

    So, I just bought the Playmobil nativity set so we can follow along with your advent reflections. Now you’ve gotta post. them. Don’t let me down!

  13. Pingback: eight more days . . . | part of the main

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