One of our favourite family traditions, as we prepare for Christmas, is our Advent Box. It's not packed with loads of Christmas decorations, tinsel & sparkles, but instead it's filled with a variety of items for us to explore the Christmas Story throughout December.
For us, the countdown to Christmas through Advent means we're able to focus more on the real reason for the season, & exploring the items in our Advent Box really helps to do this.
A few years ago Minnie decorated a cardboard box which was ideal to hold all our chosen items. We filled it with our Advent decorations, Nativity figures & crib scene, & packed it away ready for the beginning of December.
It's always a surprise when it appears on the 1st day of Advent ready to be explored, & although most of the items remain the same, Minnie is always excited to rediscover each of the treasures, along with a couple of new items each year.
Inside our Family Advent Box we have the following:
:: A star - to remind us of the journey of the three wise men, the shepherds & of course Mary & Joseph
:: Nativity figures - to decorate our Nativity Tree
:: Wooden crib set & figures - to interact & play with the Nativity characters & explore the Nativity story.
:: Bethlehem Small World Play Scene with wooden figures (which we made last year) - again a great way to explore the story.
:: Advent decorations (Angels) - to encourage us to think about the part they played in the Nativity story
:: Advent lights - The first of our festive lights that remind us of Jesus (the light of the world)
bringing light to the darkness
:: St Nicholas (Playmobil figure) - to remind us of the origins of Santa Claus & why we celebrate St. Nicholas Day on 6th December
:: A star candle holder for our Advent candle - helping us countdown the days to Christmas Day
:: A book - The First Noel by Jan Pienkowski. A beautiful book which folds out into the shape of a star & tells the story of the Nativity. It's so stunning we have it on display as a decoration throughout Advent & Christmas.
This Advent Box has been a great way to start our preparations for Christmas. In the past, it's prompted conversations & questions about the Nativity Story, & been explored by children who've visited our home in the runup to Christmas. But for us, the most important thing has been the reminder that amongst all the hustle & bustle of December, the planning, the school plays, shopping etc, Advent offers us a time to prepare & focus as a family on the true meaning of Christmas. Making time for this makes Christmas Day truly special.