The season of Advent is upon us. It calls us to reflect, wait, watch, and listen as we prepare for the coming of our Savior. This paints a peaceful picture, doesn’t it? However, we know this time of year can be hectic for families. Many of us are wondering how we can prepare ourselves and our children for the celebration of Jesus’ birth in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle.

Below are several simple resources that can help slow things down a bit, provide an opportunity to create memories with your family, and most importantly, lift your eyes to Jesus.


Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones | Learn more here

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift - An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp | Learn more here

The Family Book of Advent: 25 Stories & Activities to Celebrate the Real Meaning of Christmas by Carol Garborg | Learn more here


Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp | Learn more here

Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul Tripp | Learn more here

Good News of Great Joy by John Piper | Learn more here

The Dawn of Indestructible Joy by John Piper | Learn more here


Kids Read Truth Advent Table Cards - Each card offers a short Scripture reading, engaging questions, and beautiful illustrations for kids. OCC Kids has a set of these if you would like to see before purchasing a set for yourself! Learn more here.

The Christmas Star from Afar - Use this nativity set to play a game of hide-and-seek as you count down the days to Christmas! Learn more here.

Jesus Storybook Advent Ornaments - Invite your child to color an Advent ornament while you read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Then hang the ornament on a paper tree! Learn more here.

Light the Candles on an Advent Wreath - One OCC family chooses one night each week of Advent to make a special meal and dessert for the family to share. After eating, they light an Advent candle (Hope, Joy, Peace, Love, Christ) and read a devotional that represents that candle. After lighting each candle, the family spends time in prayer.

Thankful Tree - One OCC family sets out a mini Christmas tree. Each day, everyone creates a paper ornament on which they write one thing they are thankful for and add it to the tree. On Christmas day, illuminate our greatest gift and blessing: Jesus! Spend time in prayer, thanking God as a family.

Unwrap the Christmas story - Wrap the pieces of a nativity set in wrapping paper and label each “gift” with a countdown number. Kids can unwrap a piece each day to build the nativity scene. Use this Countdown to Christmas book for corresponding Bible verses and devotionals that explain the significance of each nativity piece!

Reverse Advent Calendar: The Countdown that Gives - Decorate a box that can be used to collect food and hygiene items throughout the month. Each day, your family adds an item to the box. At the end of the month, you can donate the box to a local food bank or ministry. OCC Kids will participate in a collection for Mission House this year. This would be a great way to collect for that! Learn more here.

Elf on the Shelf Advent Readings - One OCC family uses Elf on the Shelf to bring these Advent readings to their children each day.

These are just a few of the many, many resources available. If you have an Advent tradition that you love, please share it by sending an email to Whitney Ponton at whitney@occjax.com.