28 Advent Resources to Help Your Family Count Down to Christmas

Advent. The dictionary defines it as “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event”. Most Christian churches consider Advent as beginning four Sundays before Christmas. Many families begin Advent traditions sometime between the weekend after Thanksgiving and the first day of December.

It’s an exciting season. Whether you are looking toward the celebration of Christ’s birth or just anticipating the coming of the Christmas holiday, it’s a time of building anticipation. It’s a time of looking forward to the joy of what’s coming.

Advent countdown resources

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I love our family Advent traditions. They are a way to build the excitement of the season as well as a way to have some awesome family time through what can turn into a really busy season. Over the years we’ve done some of our favorite Advent activities over and over. And, occasionally we’ve added some new activities during the Advent season that have become favorite traditions.

If you’re looking for some new traditions to celebrate this Advent season with your family, look no further. Here are  28 Advent resources that will help you to celebrate all season long.

Advent Books

Countdown to Christmas: Unwrap the Christmas Story With Your Family in Fifteen Days by Lisa Appelo is an Advent devotional and allows you to build a Nativity Scene as you countdown to Christmas.

The Christmas Countdown: Creating 25 Days of New Advent Traditions for Families by Margie J. Harding has devotional readings and activities for families as you count down to Christmas.

Christmas Countdown: A Story a Day for Twenty-five Days by Steve Englehart has a Christmas Around the World story to read for each day.

Look!: A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas by Laura Alary isn’t an Advent countdown in and of itself, but it’s a book that looks at Advent traditions and how they point to Christ.

24 Christmas Stories to Welcome Jesus is a book filled with stories, some from the Gospel accounts of Christmas and some from Advent and Christmas customs. There is a story a day beginning the 1st of December.

Advent Calendars and Countdowns

I love the idea of using books to countdown to Christmas. No Time for Flashcards has twenty-five Christmas books with accompanying crafts that you can use to countdown to Christmas.

If you want a unique way to countdown the days until Christmas, try an activity Advent calendar. Wendelonia has some printable activity cards that you can use. She uses a cute little house with boxes- similar to the tree here- but you could put your cards into anything you make and save some money.

Learning Mama has another set of free Advent activity cards that you could use for an activity Advent calendar.

Have Lego lovers? Little Bins for Little Hands has an awesome Lego Advent countdown idea that involves giving kids a challenge to build with Legos each day of Advent. She has instructions, as well as suggestions for what kids can build each day. You could supplement your Legos with a Christmas set if you wanted to make sure kids had some Christmassy colored bricks.

I Heart Naptime has  a cute idea and instructions for a 25 Days of Service Advent countdown. Each little card in this countdown has a service project for the family to do together.

Want a yummy Advent calendar? Kitchen Counter Chronicles has instructions for a Christmas cookie countdown. 

I love this paper sack and clothespin Advent countdown because you can fill the sacks with anything you like!

And I know the kids would love this idea of having small, wrapped packages to open each day as you count down to Christmas.

The Reason for the Season Traditions

Because our church uses an Advent Wreath throughout the season looking forward to Jesus’ birth, we’ve always used one in our family as well. Often people associate the use of the Advent Wreath with Catholic Christmas tradition, but we go to a Presbyterian church that has a more formal worship service, and the Advent Wreath has always been a part of Christmas worship. You can find some good instructions for setting up and using an Advent Wreath here at Feels Like Home. The wreath is an awesome way to spend time as a family and build anticipation as we approach Christmas.

Mommy Justine also has some great kid-friendly readings for the Advent Wreath.

Use Scripture to countdown to Christmas. Encouraging Moms at Home has a printable calendar of twenty-five Scripture verses that you can use for Scripture memory or even copywork for the whole family as you build up anticipation for the celebration of Christ’s birth.

When my children were younger, I read about the Jesse Tree Advent countdown and immediately knew I wanted to adopt this as a tradition. The Jesse Tree counts down to Christ’s birth by looking at Scripture all the way from the beginning and following God’s redemptive plan throughout. It’s an awesome big picture way to look at the importance of celebrating Christ’s birth at Christmas. I wrote about our Jesse Tree for the Family, Faith, and Fridays blog here.

Scripture Confident Living has more good resources for the Jesse Tree if you have preschoolers.

Focus on the Family has a cool printable set that counts down to Christmas with Scripture readings and a Nativity scene to build.

The Elf on the Shelf and Alternatives

The Elf on the Shelf is a wildly popular countdown to Christmas. I have to admit that I never got into this one. My kids were a little too old when the Elf came out, and I thought the whole set up each night thing seemed a little intimidating. But…if you like the idea of the Elf, Pinterest abounds with ideas of what to do with your Elf.

I like the Truth in the Tinsel alternative to the elf. This is an ebook set that has Scripture reading, talking points, an activity, and a printable ornament for each day.

Reindeer in Here comes with a cute reindeer that arrives the first day of December. Instead of having to remember to set up your reindeer each night, the idea is that the child carries the reindeer around throughout the month so that the reindeer can get to know the child and let Santa know when he arrives with gifts on Christmas Eve.

Melk the Christmas Monkey is another alternative that turns the focus to Christ. Melk is a cute monkey that comes with a book that has Bible lessons and activities for the whole family.

The Shepherd on the Search is an activity set that comes with a shepherd and a book. Each night the shepherd is hidden for the kids to find the next day. The idea is to move the shepherd closer to the nativity scene as you progress toward Christmas.

Homeschooling Throughout Advent

Make your Christmas countdown educational with the Christmas STEM Challenge printable at Schooling a Monkey. This is an awesome calendar-style printable with twenty-five (or more) STEM activities that you can do throughout the Advent season.

If you are homeschooling preschoolers, Tales of Beauty for Ashes has some great daily ideas of fun and learning activities for preschoolers  for each day of Advent.

Everyday Graces has a beautiful Advent book filled with Charlotte Mason inspired activities for every day of Advent. There are hymn studies, handicrafts, copywork, and many more fun family activities. This is a great resources to help you homeschool throughout Advent.

Scripture Adventure has a cool Christmas countdown resource for homeschoolers. Each day you’ll learn about a new symbol of Christmas and how it relates to the birth of Christ.

Advent countdown resources

What are some of your family’s favorite Advent traditions? I hope you’ve found some awesome new resources that you can use to build new traditions this season.

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