One of my main memories from being a kid is WAITING. I remember waiting for the school bus in the morning and for my mom to pick me up afterwards. I waited for my parents to stop talking after church, for my dad to get home from work, for my turn on our original Nintendo system, for my appointment at the dentist and for my mom to get off the phone. We waited in hospital waiting rooms and lines at the bank. Waiting seemed like a big part of my childhood!
Is it just because our society wasn’t as instant as it is now? Or that I didn’t have a tablet or smart phone to keep me company? Or maybe waiting is just a part of what we do as kids. Maybe waiting is part of growing. When we wait, anticipation grows. Whatever it is we are waiting for always seems sweeter after a time of longing for it.
I think that’s why celebrating Advent is so important in a kid’s life. The word “advent” just means “arrival”. The weeks leading up to Advent is when we are awaiting the arrival of Jesus to earth as a baby.
When I celebrated Advent as a kid, it wasn’t as a big traditional thing with candles and church services. It was a paper Advent calendar with a picture of a Christmas tree on it. But opening one of the little flaps each day and reading the Scripture inside was like magic. I loved seeing the passage of time through the openings on that calendar.
The whole world must have felt this before Jesus actually came to earth. Remember, the Hebrew people hadn’t heard from God via a prophet in almost 300 years. It had been a quiet time. It had been a time of waiting.
I think that’s what Advent shows.
The quiet before the miracle.
The silence before the choir singing.
The darkness before the Light.
Today, as a mom, I want my children to see that passing of time, to feel that “magic” and to know the sweetness of waiting on Jesus’ birth.
It’s why I’m so diligent to celebrate Advent in a meaningful way with my kids. With Truth in the Tinsel, we read a passage of Scripture every day of Advent. We begin with the prophecies in Isaiah, through the story of Elizabeth and Mary, to Joseph and Bethlehem, the manger, the Wise Men and the star.
For each event in this incredible story, we make a simple little ornament–a wrapping paper angel, a felt Mary, a yarn sheep and the like. These ornaments help my kids meditate on that part of the story. The truth of the narrative simmers in their heart, adding to the waiting.
When Christmas arrives, we’ve told the whole story of Jesus. We’ve waited with Elizabeth and Zechariah. We’ve walked to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph. We’ve traveled with the Wise Men. We rejoice because Jesus has arrived.
But his story and the waiting doesn’t stop there. Our final ornament of Truth in the Tinsel is a beaded cross. We talk about why baby Jesus came to earth, why He grew and died on the cross. We rejoice because Jesus came–not so we could have a Christmas celebration, but so we could celebrate with Him forever in Heaven.
Truth in the Tinsel is more than a paper advent calendar. It helps you lead your children through a time of waiting in the best possible way. You get the opportunity to walk with your children through the story and wait for the Best Present of All, Jesus!
Join thousands of parents using Truth in the Tinsel this year as we wait for and celebrate the arrival of Jesus!
Amanda likes to think up fun ways to tell her kids about Jesus and likes to share those ideas with others. Most of those ideas are on her blog, ohAmanda.com and the new ones she’s trying out usually show up on Instagram @oohamanda. Tens of thousands of families have used and enjoyed her family devotional books, Truth in the Tinsel: an Advent Experience for Little Hands and A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families to celebrate Jesus throughout the year.