One of my family's favorite Christmas traditions is the Advent wreath. On each of the four Sundays in Advent (the four weeks before Christmas), our family gathers around the wreath with cookies and eggnog and hot chocolate. Not only is this cozy family time, but it focuses us with joyful anticipation on the birth of Jesus.
This Sunday, December 12, is the third Sunday in Advent, but it's never too late to participate. If you'd like to join the Sundin family in this tradition, here are some family friendly, kid-tested ideas. Adjust these to the ages of any children present to create a meaningful time for your family.
Advent Week Three - The Shepherds' Candle
Light two purple candles (the Prophets' Candle and the Bethlehem Candle), and the pink candle (the Shepherd's Candle). The pink symbolizes joy. Traditionally, the mother lights the candles.
Explain how the shepherds watched their flocks, heard the news that the Messiah had born, and went to see the Baby Jesus in the manger - and how they reacted with great joy.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (Isaiah's prophecy of how the Messiah would be born as a child, of David's line, the Mighty God)
Luke 2:8-20 (how the shepherds heard the news and visited Jesus)
John 10:1-18 (Jesus as the Good Shepherd)
Philippians 2:1-11 (Jesus' attitude of humility, shedding his majesty to come to earth as a baby)
"The First Noel"
"While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night"
"Joy to the World"