Tigger enjoys her nativity set sheep, last year and today

It’s Advent, the season before Christmas where we expect and wait for Jesus! I honestly have to say that to me, Advent is the most wonderful time of the year. Just like at Lent, during Advent I look backwards and forwards both.

Looking backwards:
In the past I’ve posted about our Advent bedtime story books and how we form our family traditions. Last year, Sarah and I shared our thoughts on “doing Santa” in America and China. My list of favorites to read, watch, and listen to in anticipation for Christmas are still available here (and I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments!)

This year:
For this year’s family advent devotions, we are reading a chapter a day (they’re short) from Jesus by Joseph F. Girzone. Every Sunday we light one candle and sing a song of expectation. Tigger’s nativity (with handmade fabric characters) it out for play, and ours will slowly make the journey around the room until Jesus arrives Christmas morning and the Wise Men on January 6th. Christmas Eve, we’ll wake up to surprise gifts (new pajamas, snacks from the U.S., a book, and something fun) in our pajama bags, and we’ll watch Nativity Story that night. I’m sewing Paul’s pajamas and knitting Hope’s. In lieu of our usual exchange of 3 gifts on January 6th (Epiphany), we’ll be going to Disneyland this year!  If you’re still looking to purchase any gifts, this page has sales through December 3rd on Amazon (and using our link supports MamaWit without costing you anything!)

Looking forwards:
When Tigger’s a bit older I’d like do Bible storytime with stories like these and these tips from desiringGod. Maybe next year this Advent Storybook (recommended for preschoolers) would be most appropriate. Other future ideas are an Advent activity calendar and/or Jesse tree (but not as a tree? somehow, maybe?).

…and you?
Share about your Advent, Christmas, and other wintertime traditions in the comments or forums. If all this talk of Advent is new to you, start with this free printable book, A Jesus Advent Celebration by author Ann Voskamp.