It isn’t quite time for Christmas – but if you want to get a head start on advent this is a ‘make your own advent calendar’. One symbol for each day with a Bible reference to read as a family.
Print the symbols onto card and cut out. Place each one in an envelope with the number on the outside, add small treats to the envelope too. Put up some string or ribbon and use pegs or paper clips to attach the symbol each day during advent.You can leave the symbols black and white or colour them each day. There are Bible verses to read each day – when our children were small we’d have eaten the chocolate either at breakfast or straight after school and read the Bible verses at bedtime.
Free printable is here Christmas 3-shapes 3 ( verses) Christmas 3-shapes 2 ( verses) Christmas 3-shapes 1 ( verses)
Advent isn’t just for children or families with children – the calendars and candles and chocolates are great but it is also a time when we can take some time to prepare ourselves for Christmas. Each year I try to find something that will help me get my head and my heart ready. I love Christmas baking and craft but I still need to focus on the coming of Jesus. Last year I bought, ‘Good News of Great Joy’ by John Piper; 25 devotional readings for advent that help us prepare for Christmas by putting Jesus at the centre of Christmas.
The book is available as a free download – click here to go to the website.
Let’s make some time for a cuppa, a chocolate biscuit (optional!) and an advent reading a day as we look forward to this Christmas.
‘Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.’
A song to enjoy
make a paper plate crown
‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’
A song to enjoy
Something to make – twinkly Christmas star
all you need
- 2 pipe cleaners (large) cut in half and twisted together in the centre to make a star
- beads to thread on to the pipe cleaners. Once done fold the end of each pipe cleaner
- fold one pipe cleaner into a hook at it’s end so you can hang it on the tree.
edited – found a spelling mistake!
‘There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.’
something to listen to
Something to make – a tissue paper wreath using a paper plate.
‘But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.’
A song to listen to
‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’
A song to enjoy
Something to make – mince pies!
To make the pastry – (if doing this with young children warn them that the pastry needs to go in the fridge for a bit. My children found it easier to cope with the wait if they knew it was going to happen)
- 8oz plain flour (add a pinch of salt)
- 2oz lard
- 2oz marg/butter
- cold water
- extra flour for rolling out
- shallow bun tin
- round cookie cutters
Measure out the flour and add the salt. Add the lard and marg and rub in to the flour with fingertips till it looks like breadcrumbs. Children can do this – just try to make sure their hands don’t get too warm – pastry loves cold hands!
Then add just enough cold water to make a dough. Add a little at a time. I mix this in with a knife (like the one you use with a fork – no sharp edges!) . Then chill the dough for about half an hour wrapped in cling film.
Roll out 12 larger circles to fit in the bun tin and 12 tops. These need to be smaller and can be different shapes.
Grease the bun tin. Put in the bottoms and add a spoon of good quality mincemeat. Add the tops. Brush with a little milk. Put a small cut in each lid.
Bake in a hot oven (200c) for about 15 minutes. When baked the mincemeat will be very hot so leave to cool a bit before enjoying.