There was no rest. No breathing. No time to consider what advent is really about: the anticipation of the arrival of Jesus and the reminder of the anticipation of his second coming. Advent is a time of reflection and patience - not my forte - and a time of excitement.
With kids, we can feel quite similar to the way that I felt in university: school-time ending and the busyness of Christmas-holiday-hopping beginning, the arrangement of schedules, getting to all of the family and friend Christmas gatherings, and trying not to disappoint a single soul in our lives. It can be exhausting.
And, though some of that may be a tad unavoidable, the advent season can still have moments of pause and reflection even with kids. Don't misunderstand me, with kids it is much easier to have moments of excitement and see the times of reflection and pause get tossed aside. And, we all know the excitement tends to lean a little more towards Santa and presents than it probably should, and kids sometimes miss out on the truth: Christmas is entirely about Christ. It is fully about the birth of Jesus - God's son into the world - and our anticipation that he will, in fact, one day come again.
For kids, it's hard to compete with physical presents because, let's be honest, what could be more exciting to a child? But it is so important during this season to get kids excited about Jesus. Advent is a wonderful way to do that.
So, how do you point your kids to Jesus during advent?
With repetition, with experience, and with awe-filled moments. For our family, one of the things that we've attempted to do this year is an experiential advent calendar. It includes things we'd normally do during the Christmas season - tree decorating, Christmas movie watching, etc. but it also has time of pause, to pray to thank God for Jesus, to consider Jesus' birthday, and to think about what it means to love God and love our neighbours like Jesus said.
For our kids' ministry at The Meeting House, we've given kids a calendar for the month of December so that they can consider what it looks like to love God and others throughout this entire month. You can download it for your family below.
For younger children, highlighting the true meaning of Christmas through crafts can be a great visual to help them consider this idea. Our friends at Tiny Truths have created some adorable colouring pages and cut-out crafts for your little ones to created. Download them here.
Do you have awesome things you do with your kids to celebrate the Advent season? Let us know in the comment section below!