|source: onecharmingparty (right click)|
Advent means "coming" or "arrival", referring to the coming of the Christ Child as Messiah. It is a time of waiting and of preparation. For Western Catholic and Protestant Christians, the season of Advent doesn't start until the fourth Sunday before Christmas. But for Eastern Orthodox Christians, myself included, Advent (also known as the "Nativity Fast") begins on November 15 every year, lasting 40 days.
In helping to mark off the anticipated days leading up to Christmas, many families enjoy using Advent Wreaths with candles and Advent Calendars with little windows to open. Did you know there are ways to incorporate books into your Countdown?
Devotional Advent books for Children:
|A daily prayer and activity book for families|
during Advent. Link here (right click)
|This book has a story for each night of December.|
description here (right click)
|A great resource during Advent, with Christmas|
traditions, recipes, and crafts from many different countries.
right click to browse inside
An Advent Calendar of Christmas Books:
I'd like to share some ideas for incorporating beautiful Christmas picture books into your family traditions during this time of anticipation. It takes a little planning, but it's worth the forethought and effort...
1- You need to determine how many books you need - this will depend on how many days leading up to Christmas you'd like to do this activity (i.e. during all of Advent, during the month of December, or just the last two weeks leading up to Christmas).
2- Choose the books. Gather Christmas books you already have (add some library books if you don't have enough of your own - just be sure to label and read the ones from the library first, so they won't be overdue). This is also a nice way to start collecting Christmas picture books - buy a few a year to add in! Click here for my Christmas Book Resource Page, if you need book recommendations.
3- Wrap the chosen books in Christmas paper and number each book according to which day you want your child to open and read each one. [If you're very ambitious, you could number envelopes to adhere to the books. Inside you would put a card with either an Advent activity, craft, or bible reading written on it. Refer to the 3 books I mentioned at the beginning of this post for ideas. Or - look here for Christmas crafts from Crafty Crow, and here for Orthodox readings for 40 Days of Advent].
|Source here (right click)|
4- Put the wrapped, numbered books in a special place...
Some families put them in a basket by the fireplace, ready for a book to be chosen and read each night.
|source: The Blackberry Vine|
You could also put them under the Christmas tree - opening and reading the last one on Christmas Eve and replacing it with presents for Christmas morning...
|source: babyjaynes (right click to open new window)|
You could line them across your fireplace mantel...
|This ambitious idea is from Babycinno (right click)|
Or on bookcase shelves...
|from Sarahjanestudios (right click)|
Whatever you choose, have fun!