Advent is the perfect time to give families the tools to start spiritual practices at home. Giving them the tools they need, can start a life long practice. I hold an Advent Fun-shop that is filled with ideas, information and resources that families (even those with just adult) can learn how to use.
As people arrive, I have eleven stations set up. I ask them to walk around the room before they decide, but then to only choose one or two practices. The excitement of so many things to do may be overwhelming when they try to include them at home. Most of the practices are weekly, but some are daily. It is up to each person or the family to choose the practice for themselves. Here are the stations:
- What is Advent? This is a learning station that shares what Advent is, why it matters, and gives a short history.
- Advent Wreaths: I have had a station to make the wreaths and/or I have an information sheet of how to make a wreath at home. I have packages of Advent candles too (for those who have a wreath). I have three to four different ways to do the wreath including booklets with worship in it. Each family chooses one booklet or way to use the wreath.
- Children’s Advent Wreath: I have a simple wreath the children can make. There is a simple child’s worship for using the Advent Wreath.
- Advent Calendars: I have four to choose from which I get free online. I have one I made too. I ask them to choose one, mount it on a decorative page and I give them stars to place over the day when they have completed the “task” on the calendar.
- Advent Countdown to Christmas: Children make a chain out of blue, silver, pink, and lavender construction paper. They put 28 for countdown to Christmas. The connect the chain to a photo of our stain-glass window nativity. They get a page that lists activity for the day based on the color (blue-prayer, pink-scripture, silver-acts of kindness, lavender-family togetherness).
- Creche Activities: this station is filled with ideas of using their creche, has a creche blessing for when they set it up, and has materials to make a creche.
- Advent Prayer Bowls: bowls with stickers, tissue paper, and markers to decorate. Instructions for using a prayer bowl and little papers to write the prayers on.
- Praying with color: four coloring sheets with instruction sheet on how to use coloring while praying.
- Praying with icons: how to pray using icons, pictures of icons, and coloring sheets to color their own icon.
- Angels: sheet explaining angels in the Bible, game to play, and angel ornaments to make.
- Daily Devotions: I download and print daily devotions including one I have written.
I have helpers and I walk around to help anyone or if anyone has any questions. This event lasts only about an hour and people come and go as they get what they need. It is an easy way for the church to help people slow down and keep the focus of Advent on entering the mystery of Christmas.