There are so many ideas that you can use for Advent & Christmas.
And one size does not fit all!
We’ve done the hard work of finding and collating the ideas for you, so that you can choose what is going to work for your congregation and households.
Below you’ll find a selection of resources. There are resources for intergenerational worship & events. Plus there are resources that you can share with households of all types & ages.
If you’re looking for something that you don’t find here, email Jill – email@example.com We might be able to help you find what you’re looking for.
Here’s a few of the resources that are linked in the table below.
Advent/Christmas Resources …
Some of the links are still for 2020 resources. They’ll be updated as the new 2021 resources are released. We’ve tried to note which resources are new or updated.
Faith At Home
Advent in a Box
Make up a box or pack for advent, including a number of resources in a box for households. You can use others ideas or make up your own box or provide a sample of a range of resources that households can choose from. Here some ideas sent to Building Faith of what some churches did in 2020.
- Building Faith Advent in a Box
- Faithful Families Advent and Christmas in a Box – Give the book along with materials for a few of the activities
- Advent LiFE Pack - Hope, Peace, Joy Love - This special Advent/Christmas LiFE Pack contains resources for 6 family sessions. Purchase a physical pack which contains most of the needed resoureces or a digital download & make your own packs. (updated)
- Drawing God for Advent Idea Kit – Can be used with or without the Drawing God book
- M&M Christmas Story - Poem to give with some M&M's
- Christmas @Home 1 & 2 now only $1 each (Australian) - Great booklets - include resources for some of the ideas in the booklet
You can buy or make an advent wreath for households to use. One simple idea is to use a green plastic plate for the "wreath"with candles in little candle holders or even battery operated candles. Below are a few more Advent Wreath ideas, many also include weekly devotions.
- Advent 2020 Downloadable Resource
- Handout for Advent at Home
- A Journey Through Advent
- Simple Advent Wreath Devotional – great for all reading levels, for individuals or families
- Family Advent Devotional – make mason advent candles and use the family devotional – Devotional
- Advent Wreath using playdough
- Christmas Family Faith Trail - This Australian resource is designed to support families to grow in faith in the home through Bible reading, conversations and activities such as crafts and games. Families can pick and choose activities that are most useful for their particular family. Print the booklet off to give to each family in your congregation & ministry programs.
- 25 Ways to be Thankful - Light a candle each day in Advent and spend a minute or two taking it in turns to complete the "thankful" sentence for that day. (new)
- Advent Wreath Prayers - A short prayer for each week of advent (new)
There are many advent calendar ideas available that individuals and families can use. Here's just a few:
- Names of Jesus Advent Calendar (Australian) - beautiful boxed set $35
- 25 Days of Christmas - Scripture and Activities for Advent
- Advent: A Calendar of Devotions for 2021 (updated)
- Simple Stone Advent Calendar
- Flexagon Advent Calendar
- Praying in Color Advent Calendars - Different designs available each year. Here's the 2020 designs - Choose from dove dated or undated, star or calendar grid templates. These are great for children and adults. Or you can purchase one from Faith Forward who are working with #AdventWord and have a devotional booklet to go with it as well.
- Orange Advent Calendar
- More ideas from Building Faith
Or instead of a calendar use paper chains:
- Redeeming Advent - 24 Days - Each day starts with an anecdote or familiar activity from the ‘secular’ preparations for Christmas, leading in from that to a Bible passage and punchy commentary.
- Creation to Crib: An All Age, Intergenerational Advent Journey - this beautiful, hand illustrated devotional gives you opportunities to pray, discuss, think, and journal your way from Creation to Crib
- Tracing Glory: The Christmas Story Through the Bible - 25 days - From the creation of the world in the book of Genesis, to the new creation in the book of Revelation. In each day’s reading, there is a key Scripture to look up, a devotional commentary to read, and a helpful summary highlighting the key point and showing how that particular Bible passage points to Jesus, and questions to prompt discussion with your family.
- The Adventure of Christmas: 25 Simple Family Devotions for December - simple 10-minute family devotions for Advent, with graphic-novel-style illustrations. Different sets of questions for 3-4s, 5-7s, 7-12s, teens and even parents.
- The Advent Creative Retreat Activity Book - 5 sections - offers a combination of meditations, prayers and activities.
A Jesse Tree is a tree branch decorated with symbols representing the stories of people in Jesus' family tree. In Isaiah 11:1 we read, "A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots." Jesse was the father of David, Israel's greatest king. And it was from David's lineage that Jesus came. That's where the idea of using a Jesse Tree to celebrate Advent came from.
- The Jesse Tree: Printable Pictures, Questions and Activities for Each Day of Advent from Flame Creative
- Let's Make a Jesse Tree - Easy step-by-step instructions for making a Jesse Tree Advent calender, plus 25 Bible readings for family use.
- The Jesse Tree: An Advent Activity and Story Book
- Advent Jesse Tree - Let your tree tell the story
Advent Prayer Beads - Prayer beads give you something to hold on to and help you focus as you pray. These prayer beads are a tool you can use to help guide your prayers during the season of Advent. Includes instructions for making the prayer beads, along with devotions for adults and children.
God's Big Rescue Family Time Activity - add to a bracelet or key ring as each part of the story is told
Books for Ideas:
The Season of the Nativity by Sybil MacBeth
Books to read a chapter of each night:
This series by Arnold Ytreeide has a different main character in each book but they all end up in Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus. Each chapter ends on a cliffhanger so you want to find out what happens. Great for age 4 - 18+.
More Books to Read
Illustrated Ministry Colouring pages (updated)
Praying in Colour Advent Sheets - Mark of each day as we journey to Christmas by drawing or doodling a section on the calendar each day as you pray & reflect. Includes a calendar template with ideas of how to use it. A great resource for children and adults.
- 21 Free Nativity Printables
- Play with your Nativity Set & more ideas
- Paper City Nativity Scene
- Lego Nativity & more Lego Nativity ideas
- Make your own Christmas Window Nativity Scene - read a short bit of the nativity story together, listen to the podcast, and put together your own Christmas Window with downloadable templates. (updated)
- Messy Christmas - This Messy Church at Home session focuses on the true meaning of Christmas and explores the theme of God’s gift to us in Jesus.
- Christmas Family Time - This minibook aims to transfer the core values of Messy Church to the home and family context, encouraging families to talk together, be creative, be hospitable, be Christ-centred and celebratory, and including activities for all ages.
Intergenerational Worship & Events
- Engage Together – Intergenerational UCA Worship Resource for Advent 2020
- A few complete service ideas from UCA Synod of SA
- Something is Coming! is a brand new Advent resource that uses the starting point of the 'stump of Jesse' to build a collaborative Advent display. Each week, add a new dimension to the Nativity (angels, shepherds, wise people). Adapt to suit your needs, includes ideas for small and large gatherings. (New)
- Free Christmas Resources from Mainly Ministries - an interactive, intergenerational Christmas resource. It will be suitable for sermons in the four weeks leading up to Christmas and includes something to do on Christmas eve. (New)
- The Beginning & the End - moves through the whole story from Creation to Revelation
- Joseph's Christmas Story - 100 short Tweets that Joseph might have shared from his perspective
- The New Beginning - This story links Christmas to Easter
- An Intergen Christmas Service - using "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr Suess
- Chocolate Christmas - Tell the Christmas story using chocolate bars
Books to read in worship:
- The Nativity - Words from Luke 2 with illustrations by Julie Vivas
- Wombat Divine by Mem Fox, illustrated by Kerry Argent
- Twas the Evening of Christmas by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Elena Selivanova
- And here's a list of more ...
Books to help with worship preparation:
- The Season of the Nativity by Sybil MacBeth - Ideas for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany