Advent Resources for a Christ-Centered Christmas (2016 Edition)
The Christmas season is fast approaching! If you're like me, you might be thinking, "I have to make December count! I want to be in the Word every day! I want to do special Jesus things with my family every day! I want to do all the fun Christmas events and bless people, too! I want it to be a Christmas to remember and magically achieve perfection without being tired or stressed at all!" Let's all just agree right now: that's NOT going to happen.
Now knowing that I can't craft the perfect December for me or my people, I still desire to make Jesus the rightful King of our Christmas. And I want that for all of you, too! So I've gathered a big list of Advent resources for us all to consider. Please do not, I REPEAT: DO NOT DO ALL OF THESE THINGS. Choose wisely, knowing your limitations. Pick something that you and your family can handle. Start small, with what's most important to you. Ask the Lord what He wants your Advent season to look like. He will be faithful to answer. May our Lord Jesus be glorified in our Decembers and beyond.
These are daily readings that will take you throughout the month of December. Some have room for journaling, some come with questions to consider, but all of them will give you a daily portion of Scripture to keep you full of Christ this Christmas.
- She Reads Truth 2016 Advent Collection (includes devotionals for women, men and kids' table cards)
- 2016 Advent Devotional by Amen Paper Co. (formerly Naptime Diaries)
- Sacred Holidays 2016 Advent Studies (includes devotional for women, men, teen girls and families)
- The Expected One by Scott James and David Platt
- The Dawning of Indestructible Joy and Good News of Great Joy by John Piper
- God is in the Manger and Watch for the Light by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- The One True Light and The One True Story by Tim Chester
- 100 Days With Jesus (on Instagram, too!)
- Come Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy
These are non-devotional books on the topics of Advent and Christmas.
- Hidden Christmas by Tim Keller
- Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie
- A Better December by Steven Estes
- The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
- Christmas Playlist: Four Songs That Bring You to The Heart of Christmas by Alistair Begg
We all have different tastes when it comes to Christmas music, and there's nothing wrong with playing the old holiday favorites. If you're looking for rich hymns with gospel truth, the albums below are sure to satisfy.
There are many, many, MANY family activities out there that point to Jesus. As you decide what's right for your family, think about the age and attention span of your kids, the amount of time you can devote to family activities, and what traditions are most important to you.
- Jesse Tree Resources
- Daily Searching Activities
- Jesus Storybook Bible Resources
- Craft Ideas and Journals
- Family Devotionals
- Community and Giving-Focused Resources
Children's Picture Books
I have made a point over the years to collect gospel-focused Christmas books for my kids. Books that portray the story truthfully can be hard to find! These are a few of my favorites from our collection.
- The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell
- God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
- Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas
- Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
- What is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams
- The Friendly Beasts by Rebecca St James
- Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer
We enjoy watching Christmas movies as a family, but many of them are filled with worldly values and miss Christ completely. These films tell the story in an engaging way for all ages.
- The Promise
- The Very First Noel (can be hard to find, but check your local library!)
- Why Do We Call It Christmas? (What's In the Bible? Series)
I had to include these last items because I'm a big fan of putting God's Word all over my house and all over my heart!
I hope you'll find something in this post that will help you and your family to focus fully on Christ this Christmas season. May we be intentional with our time; abiding in Christ and allowing our Advent rhythms to show others that Jesus is the reason we celebrate. If we've missed any of your favorite Advent resources, please link to them in the comment section. Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!
Natalie Herr is the founder and team leader of Dayton Women in the Word. She is a servant of God, a wife, and a mom of three. She loves teaching and equipping women with God's Word. And she really likes Christmas.