SHINE Daily

8 Advent Resources for the Christmas Season

Growing up, Christmas in our house was extra special because we didn’t just celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we celebrated it all month long!

My mom had a colorful cloth calendar that we hung on the basement door. There was a little pocket for each day in December leading up to the 25th. They housed yummy pieces of candy, except for the 25th, which was the home of a baby Jesus figurine.

Every evening at dinner, my mom would talk about the significance of Jesus being born and why we take time to celebrate it every year. Then after dinner, I would get to pull out and eat the piece of candy for that day.

Do you know how hard it is for a 4-year-old to see candy hanging up on a wall every day, but have to wait all day long to get it and after all that waiting they only get one piece? Let me tell you, the struggle is real.

It gets better. Once my two younger siblings came of the candy eating age, I no longer had to wait all day to get my candy. I had to wait THREE days to get a single piece of candy because my mom made us rotate days “to be fair.” You better believe I was counting down the days until it was my turn.

What my mom was doing all those years was leading our family in participating in Advent, which is a season of waiting and preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas day.

Unfortunately, I no longer celebrate Advent with a candy calendar that would be considered childish and I don’t have kids to use as my excuse. Adulting is hard. Now I use an Advent book that has a couple of paragraphs to read each day that get me thinking about the significance of Christmas.

I look forward to doing this each year because it helps me focus on the why of Christmas in a season that can tend to feel overwhelmingly busy. I don’t want to miss out on celebrating what matters most about Christmas: Jesus.

If you or your family are looking for some Advent resources to use this Christmas season, here are a few to check out:

Teenagers and Adults:

  • Once-A-Day 25 Days of Advent by Zondervan
  • In the Manger: 25 Inspirational Selections for Advent by Max Lucado
  • The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp
  • Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional by Paul David Tripp
  • The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper

Family-Friendly:

  • The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp
  • Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu
  • Counting to Christmas: Family Advent Devotions and Calendar by Gail E. Pawlitz

 

Laura Smith serves at 95.1 SHINE-FM as Sales Coordinator. She's working her way towards an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling with a focus in Life Coaching at Liberty University, and she can polish off a pint of ice cream in one hour.