Two Simple Ways to Celebrate Advent With Your Family

I love traditions and family rituals, so it’s no surprise that when the winter holidays come around, I get really excited. Surprisingly, I have come to enjoy Advent just as much or more than Christmas. Traditionally, Advent includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, and it’s a time of preparation and waiting. But the anticipation is half the fun, and there is a lot of meaningful symbolism to Advent that I love.

When I say celebrating Advent, I’m not talking about cramming in a whole bunch of holiday experiences and activities that seem to be expected of us these days. Instead, it’s about thoughtfully choosing practices that work for our family and align with our values. So whether you’re looking to incorporate more of the spiritual aspect into your family rhythm or you just want to make the waiting part of the celebration, we’ve got you covered!

Two Simple Ways to Celebrate Advent With Your Family | Houston Moms Blog

Advent Calendars

Start with a countdown to Christmas! Kids especially LOVE this daily activity. We do three of these in our house, all different types. 

  • A Typical Countdown :: I got ambitious one year and made the calendar pictured above {find it here}. You can get incredibly creative with this, and I’m a fan of all the modern ideas floating around right now. But if you just want to buy something already made, here are a few ideas – high quality, nativity, wooden.
  • Story / Interactive :: We have a book called The Story of Christmas which opens up to reveal 24 pop-out mini-books. Each has part of the Christmas story on it, with gold thread attached so you can hang it on the tree. This is similar to a Jesse Tree, where the ornament you hang each day has a different meaning and Bible verse attached to it. This DIY kit looks especially cute and fun!
  • Something Fun :: Usually this is a cheap one with chocolate in it, but this year I’m considering splurging on the LEGO calendar. I have also heard amazing things about the Jacquie Lawson computer/iPad countdown, and it’s so cheap it would also make a fun gift.

Two Simple Ways to Celebrate Advent With Your Family | Houston Moms Blog

Advent Wreaths

An Advent wreath is one of the oldest traditions. Not only does it make for pretty decor, but it can be a wonderful weekly practice for your family to gather together and prepare for Christmas in a spiritual way. All you really need are some candles and a “wreath” {or a place to put the candles} to get started.

  • Get the kids involved and make your own beeswax candles! This craft is easy enough for toddlers to help with. The kit has enough for three sets, so gather a couple of friends together for a fun playdate activity.
  • We went for a little more unique wreath and built a woodland-inspired wreath based on this blog post. {Ours is pictured above.}
  • You can also simply buy a ready-made wreath online, or many craft stores have these in stock. 
  • Once you have your wreath, you may choose to have a candle-lighting each Sunday prior to Christmas with your family. To make it more meaningful, include a devotional as well. You can include a mixture of Bible verses, special readings, objects that go along with the week’s theme, and prayer. There are also plenty of beautiful books that will lead you through this.

Celebrating the entire Advent season has not only helped us spiritually, but mentally too! For one thing, the kids have something simple to look forward to each day to keep them from going crazy with anticipation. But also, it allows me to take a time-out from the crazy world and reminds me of the real meaning of Christmas.

Have you celebrated Advent with your family? We would love to hear!


  1. I decided to do a Christmas countdown, but I waited until December 1st to try to figure out what to do! I’m just opting for some easy activities with my son (and husband) each night until Christmas. We put up the new tree last night (or at least put it together and I fluffed the branches) and tonight we’ll drink hot chocolate and put the ornaments on it. I can’t wait to start some holiday traditions with my family now that we’re settled in our new house and my kiddo seems old enough to remember the tradition.


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