We homeschooled our four children for over 10 years. As a Catholic family, we set aside the month of December for advent activities. Advent begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas and countdowns to the feast of Christmas. Here are Advent countdown activities.
First, let’s look at the season of Advent, separate from Christmas. Advent is a penitential season in the Catholic church. Though not of the same magnitude of Lent in degree of penance, Advent, is nevertheless, a preparatory season. The focus of advent activity is prayer, fasting and almsgiving, under the four main themes of: Hope, Expectation, Joy and Preparation (these themes may be referred to in different terms). Countdown to Christmas activities should focus on preparation for the Advent or coming of Christ as a baby in Bethlehem.
Advent Calendar: Here are several articles I’ve written sharing Advent calendar activities:
-Free printable Advent calendars
-DIY homemade Advent calendars
Advent Wreath: Here are several articles to help you make an Advent wreath.
-Handmade Advent Wreaths
-Free Printable Advent Wreaths
Jesse Tree: This daily devotional activity follows the lineage and birth of Jesus from Adam and Eve to the Nativity. You can create your own Jesse Tree using the tutorial listed and the free printable Jesse Tree ornaments.
-Free Printable Jesse Tree Ornaments
-DIY Jesse Tree Devotional Craft
Advent Almsgiving Activities- Countdown to Christmas with Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy:
Advent Family Traditions
Advent Almsgiving Calendar (This makes an excellent Advent craft and math lesson, too,)
Advent Paper Chain Countdown to Christmas
In our homeschool, we would gather each morning and complete the activities for the day, using our pocket countdown to Christmas Advent calendar (details for making this are given in the DIY Homemade Advent calendar link). Using envelopes cut in half and made into pockets, the days’ activities were listed. Each part of the Christmas preparation became an Advent activity: filling the Operation Christmas Child boxes, writing holiday letters, making handmade Christmas greeting cards, creating gifts with craft projects, choosing and purchasing the Giving Tree gifts for Church; each of these fit in to our Advent devotions. It’s been several years since we homeschooled the children. But the happy memories remain; each of our children has carried these traditions into their own lives.
For more on Advent, Christmas and Catholic faith, visit the blogs listed.