This Christmas season spend time with your family members focused on the birth of Jesus and what His arrival means for our faith! So get the hot chocolate ready, gather the kids around the table or the Christmas tree and get ready to learn, reflect and grow together as a family through these Advent devotionals for families!
What is Advent?
While you may see a chocolate Advent calendar or a lego Advent calendar serving as a countdown to Christmas in the secular world, for the church the Advent season is more than just a countdown to Christmas.
The word Advent means arrival. It is the time Christians set aside to focus on the arrival of God’s promised Son, the birth of Jesus Christ.
During the month of December followers of Jesus around the world reflect on the nativity story and what the birth of Christ means for our faith. The 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas Day are the Sundays of Advent. It technically begins four Sundays before Christmas.
How to celebrate Advent as a family
Setting up your Advent wreath
Traditionally the family gathers around an advent wreath with four candles in the wreath and one candle in the center. These candles represent Jesus Christ as the light of the world. Traditionally, three outer candles are dark purple, one is a lavender and the center candle is white.
Although you may enjoy a traditional Advent wreath you can also use any five candles and be as creative or simple as you like for your family or church. Currently my family uses 4 votive candles I picked up at the Target dollar spot and one larger candle in a rustic wooden tray surrounded by greenery and jingle bells.
Your Advent devotional time
The first Sunday of Advent only one candle is lit. The second two are lit and one added each Sunday until finally, all the candles are lit on Christmas day.
Generally there are special Advent readings reflecting on attributes of God or elements of the Christmas story the whole family reads together while the candles remain lit. Sometimes Christmas carols are sung, a short prayer is said, and then at the end– the lit Advent candle(s) is blown out.
The following Advent devotionals are perfect to incorporate in your family’s Advent time to make it really meaningful and impactful for your kids!
12 Advent Devotionals for Families
Here are my favorite family advent devotional books! Each one contains daily readings and a weekly reading you can do as a family. Some also include activities, songs, discussion questions and recipes.
- The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child by Dean Lambert Smith
This is the Advent devotional my family used when I was a kid! It is a classic and has great questions for both younger children and older kids/adults. I love that it is simple to read and also includes a memory verse and song ideas for your Advent devotional time.
You can also look at creating your own ornaments that go along with each day’s devotionals or buy a completed set on Etsy!
2. Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu.
I loved this devotional and it also has lots of practical ideas to do with your family to prepare for the advent season! The daily readings are at the adult level, but the weekly activities are for families!
The author also has a new picture book coming out called Unwrapping the Names of Jesus for Kids that I’m looking forward to adding to our Advent children’s book collection!
3. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp
Written in Ann’s beautiful prose, but accessible for families this gorgeous keepsake book has daily Scripture readings, discussion questions, meaningful activities, and downloadable ornaments to help your children understand and appreciate the gift of Jesus this Christmas season!
4. Wonders of His Love: Finding Jesus in Isaiah by Champ Thornton
Advent is the perfect time for families to gather together and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Using pictures of Jesus from Isaiah’s prophecies ―the Light, the Branch, the Shepherd, and the Savior― brings to life the true meaning of Christmas. This is another highly interactive book with ideas for crafts, activities, service projects, baking recipes, plus cool asides in the material with questions kids might have. (Like Who is Saint NIcholas? and Was Jesus really born in a barn?)
This practical family advent devotional lays out step by step devotions for families that are interactive with songs, coloring pages, Scripture readings and devotional readings each day leading up to Christmas! I love that there are so many elements to help incorporate lots of different learning styles, but you can always keep it simple too.
6. Christmas: Tradition, Truth and Total Baubles by Nick Page
This is a great read for families with middle school or older children who are looking for something a bit more challenging. “Combining in-depth historical research with cheerfully irreverent humor and a dash of cutting-edge guesswork, Nick Page shows us how many of the things we believe about Christmas are actually a load of old baubles – and helps us get back to something real and true beneath all the wrapping.” This book will stir up some great discussions with your kids as they begin to own their own faith!
My family and church loves the Jesus Storybook Bible and the way it weaves the promise of a Rescuer into many familiar Bible stories. The author offers an amazing Advent devotional plan with a reading guide, printable ornaments, coloring pages and activity ideas.
8. A Better Than Anything Christmas: Explore How Jesus Makes Christmas Better by Barbara Reoch
This Advent family devotional help families explore why Jesus came. Each day has Scripture reading, application questions, and journaling space for both writing and drawing. This book is larger (more coloring book size) and great for helping kids respond to what they are hearing about Christmas!
9. Bake Through The Bible At Christmas by Bentley-Taylor and Moore
This beautifully illustrated and photographed cookbook/devotional is perfect for your little baker! Each recipe includes a short devotional, prayer, Scripture verses, questions to ask while baking together and while you eat discussion prompts!
10. 25 Days of the Christmas Story: An Advent Family Experience by Dr Josh and Christi Straub
Each of the 25 days highlights a different person, place, or object from the Christmas story—from the prophet Isaiah to Baby Jesus, from the Christmas star to the gift of frankincense. All devotions include an easy-to-read story, character trait, activity, and more—each designed to reinforce the main theme of the day.
As your kids get a little older it can be harder to hold their attention, this 10 minute family style devotions feature graphic novel illustrations. Each day has the big idea, orienting questions, and Scripture reading. Optional questions and activities can help your family dive deeper! I especially love the discussion questions were divided into age groups from 3s and 4s to teens–perfect for big families!
Perfect for those who are short on time but still want to use Advent to learn more about Jesus. The Christmas Promise Advent calendar includes a short booklet of daily devotionals as well as lift-the-flap calendar with illustrations from The Christmas Promise Storybook!
More Christmas Articles like this one
- Non-Toy Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
- 2022 Advent Bible Reading Plan
- 25 Joyful Family Christmas Traditions
- 25 Christmas Devotional Ideas for Families and Churches
- Even more Christmas ideas for your family!
Other Advent Resources for Families
Love this for little hands to explore the Christmas story for themselves. If you have toddlers or preschoolers bring this nativity into your Advent time to give their busy little hands something to do while they listen!
There are lots of options for creating Jesse Tree ornaments, but these felt ones are beautiful. There are display options available from the shop as well.
This traditional Advent wreath will make your Advent devotional time memorable as you light more and more candles the closer you get to Christmas.
Great for little ones to color during Christmas devotions.
This little coloring booklet would be great to keep bigger hands busy during Advent time or to slip into a Christmas stocking.
5 Adult Christmas Devotional Ideas
If you want to add in your own personal Advent devotional these are some that I recommend and love!
Emmanuel: An Invitation to Prepare Him Room at Christmas and Always by Ruth Chou Sims
I love Ruth Chou Sims and her beautiful artwork is incorporated in this Advent devotional. She also includes a question to ponder or journal, a song to sing or listen to and a prayer.
Shadow and Light: A Journey Into Advent — This book is perfect for daily devotions leading up to Christmas. “Each day includes Scripture, a reflection, a question, and a simple activity to engage the senses, such as lighting candles, listening to music, and viewing artwork both old and new.”
Honest Advent: Awakening the Wonder of God-with-us Then, Here, and Now — I adored reading this book last Christmas! It pairs God’s Word with daily reading that is practical and insightful and also has gorgeous artwork to study and consider each day.
Come, Let Us Adore Him — Paul David Tripp has a wonderful way with words and getting to the heart of our struggles. This devotional is powerful as it draws your heart to simply adore Jesus in a season that can be full of busyness and distraction.
She Reads Truth: Advent — I have loved many of She Reads Truth annual Advent plans. You can access them on their app or purchase a gorgeous book version filled with additional insights, activities and recipes. (Each year’s plan and book orders generally going live in early November.)