What is Advent?
Advent is the season of the year leading up to Christmas. The word advent itself means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The first advent is Jesus’ first arrival to earth, i.e Christmastime. We await his second advent, when he returns from the way he went. (10 Truths You Need to Teach Your Kids About the End TImes).
The Advent season lasts for four Sundays. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (the one nearest to November 30) and ends on Christmas Eve.
Advent celebrates Christ’s first coming while remembering and anticipating His second coming.
While you don’t have to buy anything at all (especially in our overly commercialized Christmas season in America), it’s nice to have physical reminders and devotions to keep our mind on Christ.
Are you looking for the best Advent devotionals and calendars? Be inspired and restore the beauty of the first and second coming of Jesus with these items.
Advent Devotionals and Calendars
For the Theologian
God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
These forty stirring devotions will guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Advent and Christmas, from waiting and mystery to redemption, incarnation, and joy. Supplemented by an informative introduction, short excerpts from Bonhoeffer’s letters, and passages from Bonhoeffer’s Christmas sermons, these daily reflections are timeless and moving reminders of the true meaning of Christmas. Now repackaged in a beautiful hardback edition, it makes the perfect holiday gift.
For the Creative
Advent Illustrated: A Bible Journaling Challenge by Sara Laughed
Bible journaling is a fun and creative way to connect with scripture. People paint, draw, sketch, letter, and scrapbook in the pages of their Bible, all as a way of connecting with the stories and messages that it holds. Advent Illustrated is a Bible journaling challenge that corresponds to Advent 2015, and the Advent Illustrated challenge. This short guide contains: a chapter about Bible journaling and how the challenge will work; a chapter on how to start Bible journaling if you haven’t before; a chapter with recommendations for Bible journaling supplies; an outline of the month; four different plans you can follow; and the Advent selections – a page for every day of Advent with the verse and a one- to two-paragraph section that gives context as well as some creative prompts if you’re stuck for ideas. Whether you’re new to Bible journaling or have been doing it for years, this guide is for you. Break out your Bible, and pull out your pens and paint brushes; the Word is your canvas!
For the Writer
The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp
Voskamp reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the greatest gift — through the majestic advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree,” each day featuring its own exquisite ornament highlighting the Biblical story. Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind, from Adam to the Messiah, with each day’s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn’t blurred past you but your heart’s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for.
For Family Devotional Time
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp
Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage, engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.
This special edition is beautifully illustrated. It can serve as a precious guide to help recapture the sacredness of the Advent season and to help the entire family understand and celebrate the epic pageantry of humankind from Adam to the Messiah.
For the Busy Mom
The Adventure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions By Lisa Whelchel
The ADVENTure of Christmas is a guide for moms concerned that their children are losing sight of Jesus in the midst of the distractions the holiday season brings. Lisa Whelchel was such a mom, but instead of abandoning the traditions of Christmas she rediscovered their original meanings, which were intended to remind people of God’s unfathomable gift. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree have become opportunities to teach her children about how they relate to Jesus’ birth. With The ADVENTure of Christmas, mothers can redeem what’s been lost from the very symbols that are gentle reminders of the true meaning of Christmas.
For the Auditory Child
Countdown to Christmas Advent Collection by Adventures in Odyssey
Take the time this Christmas season to connect with your kids in a meaningful way while enjoying a very special Advent in Odyssey! Prepare for Christmas with 24 Adventures in Odyssey episodes―designed to help your family understand Christmas in a new and meaningful way. Use in conjunction with the Adventures in Odyssey Advent Calendar or on its own. This Christmas, start a new family tradition and have fun with your friends from Adventures in Odyssey.
Also available is the Adventures in Odyssey Advent Activity Calendar: Countdown to Christmas
For Little Ears (Ages 3+)
Advent Storybook by Antonie Schneider
Benjamin Bear is so impatient for Christmas to come. To help the time pass more quickly, his mother tells him that every day when he opens a door on his Advent calendar she’ll tell him a story–twenty-four stories all about another little bear and his long, arduous journey to Bethlehem. The little bear, led by a glittering star, meets many others on his travels across hot deserts, snowy mountains, and through dark, lonely nights. His adventures, filled with acts of heroism and kindness and many small miracles, show him the path to the Christ Child. And by journey’s end Benjamin Bear–“”and all youngsters who share the stories and their simple morals along with him–“”will understand and celebrate the true spirit of Christmas.
For Older Ears (Ages 8+)
Family Stories for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide
Four Advent Storybooks includes:
- Tabitha’s Travels
- Curious, competent, and courageous Tabitha is the daughter of a shepherd who is taking his family on caravan to his birthplace. Along the way, she meets and becomes friends with Jotham and Bartholomew, watches as Romans take her father prisoner, spends time with Zechariah and Elizabeth, helps Mary and Joseph just before Christ s birth, and ends her travels at the stable in Bethlehem.
- Jotham’s Journey
- In this widely popular, exciting story for the advent season, readers follow ten-year-old Jotham across Israel as he searches for his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters the wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.
- Ishtar’s Odyssey
- Ishtar’s Odyssey follows the ten-year-old son of a Persian wise man as their caravan follows a star across the desert. Ishtar would just as soon stay in the comfort of the palace, but slowly he learns that there’s much to see, do, and learn in this world that can’t be experienced in school. He eventually meets Jotham, Bartholomew, and Tabitha as he follows his father and uncles in their search for a newborn king.
- Bartholomew’s Passage
- Bartholomew’s Passage is an engaging story that guides families through the Advent season. Young Bartholomew’s adventures start when Roman soldiers destroy his village and disperse his family, continue through his enslavement to a tyrannical master and his escape with his new friend Nathan, and end with a reunion with his family in Bethlehem. Along the way Bartholomew makes a new friend, a young boy named Jotham!
For the Video Buff
Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World?
The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love. So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this really why we celebrate Christmas? What if Christmas became a world-changing event once again?
For the Kid at Heart
The Advent Coloring Calendar: A Coloring Book to Bless and De-Stress Through the Season
This fall, adults of all ages everywhere who feel stressed and unfocused are quieting their minds and souls by putting away the smart phones and tablets and picking up pencils, markers and crayons to color. At home, in waiting rooms, in churches, on road trips – coloring books for adults are becoming more and more popular. These coloring books for adults from Paraclete are not only a simple path to making something beautiful, it has a spiritual element as well. For anyone looking for some relief from the stress of the season, and for a fun and artistic new activity to count the days until Christmas, this Advent Coloring Calendar will provide a daily dose of peace and focus. Create something beautiful by coloring a pattern for each of the the 24 days before Christmas, and then enjoy the Christmas story from the Bible while creating more lovely and seasonal art.
Advent Calendars For Kids
LEGO Friends Advent Calendar Building Kit
You’ll find special winter sports equipment, fairground games and Christmas cakes and candies. You might even find some furry winter friends inside too. Includes Andrea and Liza mini-doll figures in a calendar with 24 secret compartments, each containing its own buildable surprise.
LEGO City Town Advent Calendar Building Kit
Enjoy the countdown to Christmas with the LEGO City Advent Calendar, featuring 24 awesome gifts that will make each day a special day! You can meet Santa, decorate the Christmas tree, build a snowman or blast off into space aboard the shuttle. It’s just like Christmas day! Help the police catch a cook, take a cool remote-controlled car for a spin or cook marshmallows on a festive log fire! This awesome set also includes an array of LEGO minifigures and models that can be integrated with your favorite sets.
Barbie Advent Calendar
Count down to Christmas in Barbie style with this advent calendar! Each of the 24 days brings a new fashion accessory for Barbie doll or the girl. The set includes a festive dress for Barbie doll decorated with hearts (and in Barbie signature pink, of course!). Daily deliveries for the doll include shoes – four pairs, from funky boots to elegant pumps; statement necklaces, cuffs and bangles and earrings; purses and clutches; a perfume bottle; and fun extras, like a cell phone, sunglasses and hair clips.
Playmobile Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar
Help Santa assemble all the Christmas gifts as he makes his list and checks it twice! The Advent Calendar “Santa’s Workshop” contains twenty-four surprise items for each day of Advent to form a gift that will keep on giving long after the holidays have passed. Set includes Santa figure, two elves and one angel figure, reindeer with sleigh, gifts, assorted toys, wheelbarrow, basket, and additional accessories to build a complete Santa’s Workshop. Once all the pieces are revealed, experience even more fun with the bonus PLAYMOBIL memory game. Recommended for ages four to ten.
LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar Building Kit
Journey through the Star Wars galaxy in the countdown to Christmas! Reveal minifigures, starships, vehicles and more with the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar with 24 doors and a fold-out playmat. Take a journey through the galaxy this holiday season with the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar! Open each of the 24 doors to reveal a fun Tatooine, Endor, Hoth, Space or Christmas-themed gift. With minifigures, starships, vehicles and more to discover, as well as a great fold-out playmat, Christmas will arrive faster than you can say “May the Force be with you!”
Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar
Let your little engineer’s holiday excitement build with this unique calendar that counts down to Christmas. Boys and girls will race to discover a surprise hidden behind each door-opening each will reveal a total of 12 different Thomas items that also tell a special Christmas story. Includes: Thomas a bakery car two cargo cars baked goods cargo coal cargo whistle cargo a Christmas tree a sign present cargo a reindeer Santa with sleigh.
Hot Wheels Advent Calendar Playset
Countdown to Christmas the Hot Wheels Way! Based upon a traditional countdown to Christmas Eve, the Hot Wheels Advent Calendar will keep kids entertained leading up to the big holiday. Start the race on December 1st and see what surprises each festively decorated window on the calendar holds every day. When opened, all 24 windows reveal a secret inside from toys to 1:64-scale cars. As Christmas draws closer, there’s something new to open and play with every day!
Angry Birds Advent Calendar Game
This is a premium advent calendar for the ultimate Angry Birds fan. Each of the 24 windows contains a different Angry Bird themed gift. All the gifts can be used together to form a complete game. Gifts include a launcher, blocks, Angry Birds, pigs and mission cards.
Hello Kitty Pop-Up Advent Calendar
Hello Kitty can’t wait for Christmas, and neither can you! This delightful Advent calendar makes the holiday season even more fun than it already is. Hello Kitty fans of all ages will enjoy counting down the days to December 25th with their favorite friend.
Head covering Christian woman who loves good wine, coffee, stinky cheese and missionary books. My favorite dessert is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. I am a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. I fell in love with my husband because he had rain drops on his glasses (true story). In my spare time I homeschool my six children (5 girls, 2 boys).