Blog: Village Church Leadership

Advent Cropped

Like many of you, I have spent a majority of my Christmas seasons rushing around, trying to complete all the "necessary preparations". As a result, I find myself unprepared in the most important ways when Christmas arrives - way ahead of schedule, of course. This chaotic approach is the complete opposite of how I believe Christians should prepare for Christmas. Our Christmas season should be defined by a joyful, spiritual-focused anticipation and preparation.

Just as the OT believers waited eagerly for the coming of the prophesied One, we should prepare and eagerly anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth. After all, this was God's first step in His plan to restore us back to Himself. What a day worth celebrating!

This year I have decided to intentionally plan ahead so that my family can wait in eager anticipation for Christmas. I am excited to start the "new-to-us" tradition of celebrating Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. If you have contemplating whether or not to celebrate Advent, this is the year to start! I have paired down some of the options and gathered some recommended resources in order to make it easy for you to begin the tradition this year. If you are a seasoned Advent observer, perhaps you may find a new resource or idea to use this year.

Ideas for Celebrating Advent

1. Advent Devotionals - There is a wealth of daily advent devotionals available for you to follow. These devotionals will walk you through Advent and provide a way to look forward to Christ's birth. (See resource list below for some recommended devotionals)

2. Advent Jesse Tree - This one is especially helpful for children as it teaches them the Christmas story. To do this, you select 24 Bible stories and create ornaments that correspond with them. Each day, beginning on December 1st, you read the Bible story and place the corresponding ornament on the tree. You continue this pattern, one ornament & story a day, until Christmas. (If you are not comfortable with choosing the Bible stories on your own, there are numerous resources with pre-picked Bible stories and ornaments. We will link a few examples of that below in the resource section)

3. Advent Wreath - The traditional Advent Wreath consists of a circular wreath with four candles (three purple and one pink). Usually, one candle is lit each week leading up to Christmas representing a beautiful symbol of Christ. Some variations add a fifth white candle in the center that is lit on Christmas eve or Christmas Day. There are also slight variations to what each candle represents and I recommend doing some research and deciding which variation you like best for you and your family. (I will link some examples of advent wreaths and candles to purchase below)

4. Other ideas -

  • Build or buy an Advent calendar - something special (toy or candy) is hidden behind 24 "doors" and discovered each day.
  • Create a prayer garland for daily prayers - mark each link/ring with someone's name and pray for one person a day leading up to Christmas.
  • Nativity set - place the nativity pieces away from the manger and each day have your children move the pieces closer to the manger.

Devotional Resources

Other Resources

Jesse Tree Ornaments:

Advent Wreaths:

Advent Candles:

Do you have any other Advent traditions you could share with us?