beautiful candles to display and be lit for advent - ideas for families

Starting Traditions: 10 Fun Advent Ideas for Families

Holidays are a great time of year to create traditions, specifically at Christmas. If you are like me, wanting to start traditions, you’ll love these advent ideas for families.

Over a decade ago, when my kids were very small, I started to feel a desire to create memories. The desire to create family traditions was deep in my heart. I hadn’t had any real traditions in my family growing up, but now as a mom, I wanted things my kids would remember and cherish even when they became parents. One of the things I began doing was Advent.

I hadn’t grown up doing or even know what Advent was, but as I researched ideas to make Christmas special and Christ-focused, I learned all about it.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click, I may make a commission at no cost to you. Please see my full disclosure policy for more details.

What is Advent?

The word advent means arrival, generally the arrival of something or someone notable. 

So this is the word used for the advent season of waiting and preparing for the birth of Christ. We celebrate Christ’s first coming (which is how Christians interpret Christmas – although there are a lot of pagan rituals around the holiday also), and the second coming which we are looking forward to. 

Most Christian denominations in the past would celebrate Advent during the 4 Sundays that proceed Christmas. However, it has become trendy, even by non-Christ-followers, to celebrate each of the 24 days before Christmas. 

The Advent season has become a countdown to Christmas in many people’s eyes. For a Christian Advent, it should be truly an expectancy and preparation of the heart for Christ’s coming. 

However, that doesn’t mean there can’t be fun elements to spark cheer and curiosity in our kids. There is a balance.

beautiful white Christmas lights on and around brown paper wrapped gifts

Christian Advent Design Ideas

We’ve had a couple of different designs through the years. One that we stuck with for a long time is labeled envelopes in a basket. 

I recycled a pretty wicker basket and simply labeled small-sized postal envelopes (from Dollar Tree!) with numbers for each day of the countdown. But don’t worry, it wasn’t as plain as that. Some of the envelopes I had the kids color or draw Christmas items on. The numbers were surrounded by color and filled in. The basket had cute cartoon nativity figures that the kids and I colored and cut out, then I glued to the basket. 

It was quite cute.

This year I am considering going back to my first idea of hanging the envelopes on a string. I’m going to use these envelopes, and perhaps seal them with these stickers. I’m hoping it’ll give a Little House, old-fashioned Christmas feel.

Other design ideas are crafting or buying boxes to stack as Christmas decor. Some people put numbered envelopes or boxes gift-wrapped under the tree. Others like the traditional advent calendar look.

10 Advent Ideas for Families

Once you put together or purchase your advent calendar, you’ll need to have activities, notes or gifts to put in them (or at least have ready to tell your family about on the individual days). To get your brain stirring, here are 10 great ideas for a Christian advent. 

  1. Plan a neighborhood or park to drive through to see Christmas lights
  2. Light candles as you consider being lights in this dark world, like Jesus
  3. PJ party, sleep under the tree
  4. Bake cookies for neighbors and invite them to your church’s Christmas service
  5. Sing Christ-focused carols at a fire station (call to schedule ahead of time)
  6. Create a Popcorn wreath and eat the leftovers while watching a Christmas movie
  7. Read the candy cane poem and put candy canes on the tree
  8. Design and fill out Christmas cards together 
  9. Work through the pantry, finding canned goods to donate
  10. Put on a play and act out the birth of Jesus and the escape to Egypt

How to Make the Christmas Advent Fun

There are a ton of ways to make Advent fun. 

I like to have the kids gather by the Christmas tree, then we would reveal what the advent activity was for that day. This gives a sense surprise to each day. 

Other ways to include some fun would be to put on music or sing a carol during or before your advent activity. 

Creating advent ideas for families to reach out to others can be a positive, others-focused approach to Christmas. Nothing wrong with inviting friends or extended family to engage in your activities. 

Another tip: you might find it less stressful for you and more interactive for them when you involve your kids or husband in choosing the activities. You can even have them choose or design the advent calendar or method of counting down.

Ending Thoughts

I hope you will take these advent ideas for families and make the best of your time all together. We do not know how many days we are given with our loved ones. Remember to not stress if things don’t go as planned. Just enjoy every moment.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.