Keeping Kids focused this Advent season

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Are your kids making long Christmas wish lists? Are you trying to figure out ways to get them and to keep them focused on what’s really important?

It might seem like an impossible undertaking, knowing full well that the lopsided messages of the culture are constantly bombarding us. Kids know all about the latest gadgets and toys and exactly where they can be purchased!

Of course, there will always be Christmas wish lists. But, how about making another kind of list this Advent season as well? Sit down with your family and list some things you’d like to do to help others. A wonderful added bonus is that while you’re at it you’ll be growing in your faith life too. Doing Works of Mercy is indeed a win-win situation because when you are helping others you will earn graces for them and for you AND you will grow in holiness when done with a humble heart. God has it all figured out!

And, then, after you’ve made your list, endeavor to carry the acts of love and kidness out during this season of HOPE.

It helps a great deal to pause and take a moment to capture your young ones’ attention. Get them excited about giving and about making crafts and pausing to pray, asking Jesus to come into their hearts more fully this Advent season.

Have a look here for some simple coloring pages to the more elaborate yet not too complicated crafts you can do with your kids to keep them focused on Advent.

Do you have your Advent wreath out? It’s never too late. Well, actually it is if you take it out in February. 🙂 But, don’t worry if it’s not out yet or if you haven’t found replacement candles. Try to work on that as soon as you can. You might find the candles at your local Hallmark store (I have purchased them there) or at a religious store. You can also buy them online. You can have the kids draw a wreath or you can construct one from colored papers if you don’t have an Advent wreath and you can explain what the purpose of the wreath is.

You can take a moment each night all throughout Advent at the dinner table to pray as a family.

How about your creche? Do you have it out and decorated with all of the figurines? You can pause beside it each day to say a family prayer for Advent. Tangible items such as an Advent wreath, a creche, and a Jesse Tree will all help to draw your children’s minds to the holy and off of the secular, even for a time. All efforts to create a holy atmosphere in your home–your domestic church will surely help.

Here’s some wonderful information from EWTN about many Advent and Christmas traditions.

Here’s some information at Catholic Mom. And, some coloring pages here too.

The Catholic Toolbox gives lesson plans for Advent here.

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I love this: Fifty Advent Acts of Kindness and how to orchestrate that in your own household. It even includes real cute stuff to print out and hang up to aid you on your journey of giving with the kids through Advent.

Again, I suggest that you make your own list! It will be a lot of fun to do with the kids. Just sit down and do it! Make your list–maybe not fifty things, but perhaps 25 or even 12. Just write them down and endeavor to do them. It’s as simple as that. Keep the kids focused on Christ’s love by doing charitable Works of Mercy all throughout this holy season!

Well, this was just a few starters for now to get you going. Please share your ideas about how to keep your kids focused on the Advent season and the real reason for this season in the comments below. I’ll also add some more ideas later. Right now I have to get ready to go on the radio and talk about this subject! See you later!

5 thoughts on “Keeping Kids focused this Advent season

  1. Our younger ones enjoy Mary’s star walk. On the first Sunday of Advent, I drape a dark blue cloth on the wall above the prayer area. Pregant Mary on the donkey along with Joseph begin their trek to Bethlehem. Each day of Advent, the children put a star sticker in the sky. We will add more things to the prayer area as Christmas approaches, such as sheep in a field, the Creche, etc. Here is what is looked like on the last Sunday of Advent last year: http://families-in-christ.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-fourth-sunday-of-advent.html

    • I love this, Mary Lou. It’s a beautiful gesture of love and will surely help the homeless as well as those helping. May God bless all of you! Thank you for sharing.

  2. When we were kids growing up, we had an empty shoebox that was wrapped in Christmas paper ready for Advent 1. It had a slot in the top, and for night prayer each child would write a good deed or offering from the day on a slip of paper. Each was put into the Jesus Birthday Box, throughout Advent. We kept the box first by the Advent wreath, and the 3rd week it was moved to the nativity scene until Christmas Mass. On Christmas morning, we took our gift to Church and placed it at the parish nativity scene. We really got a kick out of seeing adults putting money into our good-deeds gift. We knew which offerings were most valuable to Baby Jesus and Mother Mary. Blessings to all this holy season.

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