Subject: Strength for the Week

Strength for the Week
How to slow your kids down before they rush headlong into Christmas
Hello Friend,

You know what it’s like: by November, the commercial anticipation of Christmas is in full swing, and your kids are probably already thinking about Christmas morning and Christmas stockings and glittering presents under the Christmas tree. But how do you get them to slow down?

As adults, we know Advent as a season of anticipation, a time of waiting (something that, truth be told, none of us are really very good at!). That’s not an easy or welcome concept to get across to children. But that may be just because of the way we present it.

If you do nothing but wait, then waiting is endless! 
But if you can make participation in Advent more of an event, then you can at least slow your kids down a little before they rush headlong into Christmas.

Here are some ways to make Advent more of an event:
  1. Create a family Advent calendar. Most commercial Advent calendars give you two options when you open the doors: Scripture verses, or chocolate. You’re probably not crazy about the chocolate, and your kids may get weary of just the Bible verses. But what if you made your own calendar, and behind every “door” there was a something different and unexpected waiting? It could be a family activity (doing some coloring together, trimming the tree, making hot chocolate, creating a card for Grandma, etc.), or a treat (tonight you don’t have to do your chore, or you get 10 minutes extra before bedtime, or special one-on-one time, etc.). And frame the activity or treat with prayer: “Lord Jesus, as we wait for your birth in Bethlehem, we thank you for this....”
  2. Set up your Nativity scene. This is a wonderful family activity! Make sure that baby Jesus is far away from where you set up the manger. In fact, keep just the animals there at first. Mary and Joseph can start their long journey to Bethlehem in another part of your house; every evening, bring them a little closer, and tell and retell their stories. Who are they? Where did they live? What did they do? Why did they have to travel? Where was Bethlehem in relation to Nazareth? As Advent progresses, add the shepherds to the scene (but not too close!) and make sure that by Christmas Eve everyone is in place, waiting, ready, for Baby Jesus to arrive on Christmas morning....

If you do nothing but wait, then waiting is endless! But if you can make participation in Advent more of an event, then you can at least slow your kids down a little before they rush headlong into Christmas.


Early Christmas Shopping to help kids PUT JESUS FIRST all year through
Want to do your Christmas shopping for your kids early? Of course you do, and we have some great specials this week to help you get a head start on your to-do list! Our recommended teen and kids' titles are on sale this week: board books, teen novels, stories for you to read aloud, and more. Take the stress out of shopping and let Pauline Books & Media help fill your Christmas list... and your children's hearts.


Download a free Advent Calendar and help kids PUT JESUS FIRST all year through. 
Sign-up for the Advent Word of the Day and find a moment of Advent peace in your email box each morning of Advent.
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