Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent: The King is Coming!

Advent Calendar Chain

In case you're looking for a QUICK to-do Advent thing,  here's one from my files!

Remember those paper chains we made as children?   Skinny strips of construction paper, linked together and glued, to make a really long chain?

Well.   You can do something simple like this for a type of Advent "calendar"--and it will only take 30 or 45 minutes to do with your lovely little children!

Directions:   Make one copy of the little activities (below) for each child.    Cut-n-paste into your word-processing program.   Check the spacing between entries (make sure it's wide enough so you can cut them apart after printing).   Print this out using red and green papers (alternate them).  You might even be able to print them right onto construction paper (use regular paper for a template and cut the construction paper to fit through your printer).   Cut the entries apart into long strips.

Now here's where you can be creative.  You can either MAKE these into a chain, hang the chain from a doorway or windowsill, then daily take one link off of the chain.   The chain will get shorter and shorter.    

OR you can keep the little strips handy (envelope or bowl) and each day add a link to your chain, so it gets longer and longer!   Then on Christmas Day, add the chain to your tree.

We've done it both ways--and the kids seem to prefer starting with the long chain, and taking it apart one link per day.

The links generally don’t need to be done in any certain order.

Give someone a hug.

Take a moment to thank God for your Savior.

Thank God for your family.

Play Christmas carols and sing along!

Read Luke 2:1-20.

Put together a Christmas puzzle.

Read another story from the Bible about a different baby.

Thank God for his incredible love!

Recite the Christmas story from memory.   “In those days,…”

Draw a Christmas picture.

Think of someone far away and say a prayer for him/her.

Tell someone special you love him or her.

Be a helper—pick up your books and toys.

Make a Christmas card and mail it to someone who might be lonely at Christmas.

Make a Christmas banner (use big paper), and display it.

Sweep the steps.   Think about your sin being taken away!

Dust the living room; remember that God formed Adam from the earth!

Help bake something delicious for a treat or supper.

Play quietly.   Remember the peace that God sent to us!

Practice your Christmas piano music, think about the angels’ message.

Write a Christmas prayer, say it at supper tonight.

Set the table for supper; consider the miracles when Jesus provided food.

Count the links left in this chain.     Do that many jumping jacks!

Tell someone at home why you appreciate him or her.

Wash the kitchen cabinet doors; think about having your sins washed away

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