Tuesday, December 5

Easy Christmas Crafts for the Advent Season

Happy Advent season, friends! 

I’m always looking for ways to savor this season with my kids, strengthen family bonds, and ultimately point our children toward Christ. But for all the well-intentioned family advent plans out there, I can't for the life of me make it through one of them. Because here's the thing: I can't deal with anything complicated right now. Like, at all. I can't follow an extra advent schedule with projects and crafts and recipes every day. I can't spend time hunting down special ingredients or searching for unique craft pieces.  

But guess what? We don't need a fancy, fully scheduled plan to make the most of this season. We can fly by the seat of our pants and make the season magical and memorable for our kids in ways that work with our unique schedules and lifestyles, using simple items and ingredients we probably already have at home. And that's my goal with this little series. It's not a fully guided advent plan by any stretch, but it is a collection of projects and recipes that are simple, low commitment, and fun, that can be enjoyed with your family. Feel free to use them as you see fit - whenever you find a pocket of time and want to fit in a little Christmas magic. 

As you complete these projects with your family, please don't overlook the most important part of any advent celebration: Christ. There is no project on this list that is more important than teaching your children (or grandchildren) the true meaning of the season, the gospel, and all Christ has done for us. If you have time for only one advent "project," make it reading the Bible with your children. There are all kinds of advent reading plans out there, but, again, it doesn't have to be complicated. A great option is just reading the book of Luke. It has 24 chapters so it works out perfectly to read a chapter per day throughout December leading up to Christmas. Or, if you have younger kids, you can grab a reliable Children's bible and start reading through the New Testament passages with them (but don't ever discount the importance of reading from the actual Bible or be afraid to do it with younger kids - they understand far more than we give them credit for). 

With that said, many of these projects can work really well hand-in-hand with your scripture reading to make a pretty complete (but very chill and super flexible) advent "plan." I recommend starting with the playdough because you'll be able to use it all season! It's great for keeping little hands busy while you read, and older kids might enjoy sculpting what you are reading about. The recipes can be used in a similar way - enjoy making them with the kids, then sit down and read to them while they enjoy the treat. (It's so much easier for them to sit and listen when they have cookies to nibble or cocoa to sip! A warm cup of tea works in a pinch, too!). If you have bigger kids, they can work on the crafts or recipes while you read to them. And the yarn doll ornaments can be especially fun - they can double as, well, yarn dolls that the kids can actually play with while you read. Have fun with it, and remember that nothing will go perfectly and it's ok!

Gingerbread Playdough

3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookie

Vintage Style Yarn Doll Ornaments

Check back soon - I'll add more projects as I get them posted!

For more Christmas tips, check out the post below with all the info about how our family of 8 does Christmas gifts: how we plan, sibling gifts, a fun wrapping hack, what we actually bought for the boys last year, and more!

I'd love to hear your favorite advent crafts, recipes, or traditions!

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