Celebrate the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace of Advent
Our Advent journey continues into week three as we celebrate with joy the love that God has for each of us. We search for ways to express our joy as we move forward with anticipation to the birth of the Christ Child. We journey toward the manger with joyful celebration.
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise. Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you. All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you, sing praises to your names." Psalm 66:1-4
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" Luke 2:13-14
Family Advent Candle
Objective: to remind the children of Jesus' presence and that we need daily to renew our journey toward the joyous birth of the Christ Child who lights our way in the world.
Materials: a thick candle 8" tall, white tissue paper, suggested symbols of Advent and Christmas, small brush, thin white glue, and permanent marking pens.
- Choose some symbols of the season from those provided or create your own.
- Trace the pictures onto the white tissue paper and carefully cut or tear around the design.
- Use the brush to put the thin glue on the candle a small section at a time.
- Flatten the tissue paper over the glued area overlapping the pieces of tissue paper as each new piece is added.
- Add a thin coat of the glue over the top of the tissue paper.
- Ribbon, sequins, glitter or other decorations may be added to enhance the beauty of this candle.
This candle can be used in the home to offer prayers during the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
View the video The Toy That Saved Christmas by Big Idea Productions
This is the story of a toy manufacturer Wally P. Nezzer who has convinced all of the children that getting toys is what Christmas is all about. Only one brave toy decides that he can stand up to the misguided Wally P. Nezzer. Bob the tomato, Larry the cucumber and Junior the asparagus help Louie to let all the folks know that Christmas is about giving and that Christmas is especially about the little baby who was the greatest gift of all.
This is a great starter to discuss giving and getting at Christmas with your class. You could also discuss what kind of person they would like to be Wally P. Nezzer or Louie.
Sing songs of praise and joy
Learn some songs of praise and joy and then share them on a Sunday during Advent with your congregation.
For younger children - Light One Candle by Natalie Sleeth as found in Little Ones Sing Praise, published by Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri.
For older children - People Look East - text by Eleanor Farjion and music by Barry Rose as found in With One Voice published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers.
Objective: to provide the children with a visible reminder of the joyful anticipation of the birth of Christ.
Materials: blue crepe paper streamers cut in 24" lengths The number of streamers used for each child depends on the size of the strip of light weight cardboard you choose, strips of lightweight cardboard such as the weight of a manila file folder - the size that you use for this portion of the project is up to you. Punch 3 evenly place holes on what will be the top of the windsock, several staplers, 3 lengths of blue year for each child, and crayons or markers.
- Pass out the strips of light weight cardboard and instruct the children to decorate them with things that tell us Christ is coming. You may need to brainstorm ideas with younger children before starting this project. Remind the children that the three holes are the top of their windsock.
- Pass out the crepe paper streamers and show the children how to attach them to their decorated strip.
- Form the strip into a circle and staple the ends together.
- Tie one piece of yard to each of the three holes at the top of the windsock.
- Knot all three of the pieces of yarn together at the end.
- Hang them where they can be a reminder of the celebration yet to come at the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Create an Angel to sing joyful praises to God
Objective: To remind the children of the joyous song that the heavenly angels sang at the birth of the Savior.
Materials: 1 and 1/2 (10 1/2" size) heavy paper plates per child, paintbrushes, 12" of gold tinsel garland, glue, 18" piece of ribbon, scissors, 2 blue buttons or wriggly eyes, stapler and hole punch, 1 1/2 white pompom, 20" of thin cord, 1 pink heart button, white glitter, gold glitter, and pink and yellow paint.
- Lightly mark off a 3" section on the rim of the plate and then cut away a 2" section on each side of the 3"section to make the angels neck.
- Paint the angels hair yellow and her face pink - let the paint dry.
- Spread a thin coat of glue on the cheeks and cover with white glitter. Gently shake off the excess glitter.
- Staple the ends of the 12" piece of garland across the front of the angel's hair.
- Glue on the nose, eyes and mouth.
- Cut the 2 plate in half to form the two wings of the angel.
- Cover the wing pieces with glue and sprinkle with gold glitter.
- When the wings are dry staple them to the bottom of the angel's hair.
- Punch two holes about 6" apart on the top of the plate. Tie the 20" cord through and knot each end.
Encourage your children to hang their angels on a door knob at home. Every time that they see they angel they will be reminded of the joyful songs that the angels sang.
Joy Shakers can be made out of two paper plates decorated for the season, filled with beans or rice, and stapled together. Crepe paper strips can be added to the edges of the shaker to give it a more festive look. The children can use their shakers to add a musical touch to Christmas singing.
Objective: to share with everyone who enters their room the joy they feel preparing for the coming of the Christ Child.
Materials: large sheet of butcher paper, red, green, gold, and silver paper scraps of various textures such as construction paper, wall paper, gift wrap, and the like, and glue.
- Draw large outline letters for the word joy on the paper. The bigger and thicker the better.
- Instruct the children to tear the paper into small pieces and to fill in the letters with the torn pieces of paper. They should be careful to cover the outlined letters completely. The children should be encouraged to cover all of the spaces and that over lapping paper is okay.
- When the glue is completely dry display the banner where everyone can see and share the message of joy at the anticipation of the coming of the Christ Child.
Objective: to help the children hear and recreate the story of the birth of Christ as told in the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke in picture form to share with everyone who visit during the season and through the days of Christmas.
Materials: the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke copied, pieces of poster board cut into various size rectangle and squares, yarn, paper punch, markers or crayons, and a long dowel for hanging the banner.
- Read together the story of Christ in Luke 2. Have the children write down the different things that happen in the Gospel and the order that they happen in.
- Have each child choose one of the happenings and create a picture that depicts their part of the story. The children could also work on this project in cooperative groups.
- When the pictures are finished punch holes in the tops and bottoms and tie the pictures together to form the story of Luke 2.
- Attach the banner to a large dowel and display it in the classroom or outside of the classroom for everyone to see.