Thursday, December 11, 2008

on Advent and making your own Advent Calendar

The sprouts remember the Advent traditions that we celebrate each day of December more than anything each year. We have done Advent for at least 5 years in our family and I love it. It brings us together daily to focus on a verse of the day, with a weekly theme and a weekly "family church" time on Sunday evening.

We have a large felt banner with a tree on it. Along the borders are 28 slots with 28 different versus. Each slot has a different velcroed ornament on it. So each day of advent, they move another ornament onto the felt tree and read the verse. Each Sunday, we do the candle lighting ceremony and discuss the theme for that week (the 4 themes we use are: Preparation, love, joy, and God's Gift) as a family and sing together songs that fit the theme.

They just can’t wait to start reading the daily versus as we count down to Christmas and doing the weekly candle lighting Advent ceremony. They are getting the meaning, all mixed in there with the jittery joy of anticipating what’s going to appear under the tree. I don’t doubt that for a second. In fact, for wildman sprout's school Christmas program, when asked what his favorite thing about the holidays are, he said, "Celebrating advent with my family and doing the school Christmas program."

What You Will Need:
White felt - 24" X 36"
Green Felt - 9" X 18" - cut into the shape of a tree
3/8 " dowel - 24" long
Gold rope or string
28 to 31 Stickers or what I did was cut out pictures from Christmas cards (size of a quarter)
28 Bible verses written on index cards (cut to be about 1 inch wide)

Advent begins the 4th Sunday before Christmas. It often begins in November. Many commercial Advent calendars arbitrarily start it on Dec 1st. If you get stoked about this and want to start, we are currently in the middle of the 2nd week of Advent - theme is Love.

Cut out your tree and glue it to the white felt banner. I also cut out a brown felt trunk so it didn't just look like a large green triangle. I used red felt to line the bottom and top of the banner. Sew the red felt to the tops and bottom of the banner so that it's about 3" vertically tall. Sew vertical lines so that you create 14 mini pockets on top and 14 mini pockets on the bottom.

Write out the verses and put one in each pocket. Attach to the outside of each pocket a Christmas sticker or a mini-picture cut from Christmas cards with velcro.

Each day, have a child move the next sticker/picture from the mini-pocket to the green tree and read the verse.

Some possible Bible versus to use in the Advent Calendar
First week of Advent: Preparation, Waiting, Hoping, Trusting
  1. Romans 15:4
  2. Titus 2:13
  3. Isaiah 25:9
  4. Genesis 49:18
  5. Psalm 33:20-22
  6. Isaiah 26:8
  7. Isaiah 33:2
Second week of Advent: Love

  1. John 16:27
  2. 1 John 3:1
  3. 2 Thess. 3:5
  4. 1 John 4:16
  5. Jude 21
  6. Romans 12: 9-10
  7. 1 John 4:7-10
Third week of Advent: Joy

  1. John 15:10-11
  2. 1 Peter 1:8-9
  3. 3 John 4
  4. Psalm 35:9
  5. matthew 2:10
  6. Isaiah 52:9
  7. Psalm 66: 1-3
Fourth week of Advent: God's Gift

  1. Romans 8:31-32
  2. James 1:17
  3. Luke 6:38
  4. 2 Cor. 9:7
  5. Isaiah 9:6
  6. galations 4:4-5
  7. 2 Cor 9:15


Kristin said...

Julie, I was wanting to make my own advent calendar this year but didn't have the energy to figure it out. Thanks for doing all the work for me!! Now I just have to make it!!! We only have 14 days left until Christmas, whatever will I do? Life just moves way too fast these days.

I heard that worship on Tues was worshipful. You are greatly appreciated. Thanks for using the gifts that God has given you.

runninggal said...

Christmas time is when one is in the mood to make this so years ago, during the Christmas season, this was my project. I knew it wouldn't be ready for that year, but it would be ready for the following year. If you wait 'till after Christmas, you probably will lose your motivation to do it.

It's worth it!!

Jennier said...

Hey Julie. Can you add a picture. I'm afraid I am pretty clueless without the visuals.

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

awesome - thanks