5 Special Ways to Celebrate Advent as a Family

by | Holidays

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Advent is such a special time of the year and there are so many beautiful ways to celebrate as a family. Check out 5 family favorites in this post!

Do you celebrate Advent as a family?  Or perhaps it is a special thing you do on your own?  Whether you celebrate it in large or small ways, it can be a really meaningful time to keep your focus on true meaning of Christmas.

I remember when I was a little girl, we had a felt Christmas tree with a countdown to Christmas.  Little Velcro pieces in all different kinds of Christmas shapes would be placed on each day.

My mom always kept it in our mudroom/laundry area and my brother and I would try to see who could get the countdown updated first each day.

Of course, being the youngest, I was quite happy when he no longer really cared about it and I could have it all to myself!

As my husband and I started our own family, I’ve used a variety of Christmas countdown pieces over the years.  We have a couple of different ones that we like to use now!

For our family, things that are too complicated tend to just not happen at all.  Or we start, with great intentions, but just can’t keep it going during the entirety of the busy season.

So, here is tip number one to celebrate Advent as a family:

Tip #1 to Celebrate Advent as a Family:

Keep it Simple!


There are so many small, simple, cute ways to recognize Advent.  Our family found that by keeping it short and sweet, we are able to fit it into even the busiest December days.  Here a few simple ideas:

  • Listen to or sing along with a favorite Christms song each day
  • Create an intentional time each day for a family prayer.
  • Update the Christmas countdown together each day.  You can find some cute ones here and here.
  • Rotate days for each person in the family to read a Christmas verse.
  • Rotate days for each person in the family to reflect on a favorite Christmas memory.
  • Use a Christmas devotional that is short and simple each day.  Our family absolutely loves this one and we use it each year.
  • Hang a special ornament on the tree each day; let everyone take turns each day.

Tip #2 to Celebrate Advent as a Family:

Set aside intentional time to celebrate Advent as a family.


For years, we tried to do even the most simple Advent in the evenings.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that this was, quite simply, never going to be a good solution for our family.

With all of us so involved in music, there are numerous rehearsals and performances that fill our evenings.  Sometimes we are together and sometimes we are going different directions.


For our family, it works incredibly well to gather at 7:00 a.m. on the weekdays.  We are all home and everyone can adjust their morning routines to allow for 5 minutes for Advent.  Each of us look forward to it and believe me, our kids won’t let us miss it now!

Tip #3 to Celebrate Advent as a Family:

Advent gifting ideas


There are so many fun ways to celebrate Advent with gifting.  Some people make these real and special gifts each day.  For some, it may be a cute Advent chocolate box like this one.

Perfect for each member of the family…unlike my brother and I racing to the laundry room to move the Christmas figure.  Haha!

Here are a few ways you can incorporate Advent gifting:

  • Specialty boxes with a small treat for each day, either individual or as a family
  • Rotate days for each person to perform a random act of kindness
  • Create coupons for special activities, such as a Christmas movie, attending a concert, going Christmas caroling, or driving around to look at lights as a family
  • Fill tiny stockings with candy or treats for each person to enjoy or use Christmas houses or boxes like this or this.
  • Rotate days when each person of the family gets to choose a small gift from under the tree

Tip #4 to Celebrate Advent as a Family:

Create a DIY Advent tradition


Ours was actually born out of my realization that my French postal sorter had over 25 holes and it could make a really fun Advent display.

I’ll be honest that I wasn’t trying to be overly spiritual or even had grand expectations that it could work.  I just wanted some way for us to try and be more intentional about celebrating Advent as a family.

It has ended up being a wonderful tradition for our family!

I wanted to create some kind of gifting tradition that was inexpensive but not necessarily food-related each day, so I purchased these kraft boxes and wrote my own numbers.  They fit perfectly in my postal sorter cubbies!

If you have cubbies or even a shelf where you could display boxes, this is a really fun way to celebrate and has definitely become a tradition for us.

The boxes are big enough to hold little gift items for each of our three children but small enough that they know it’s just going to be fun little gifts.

Here are some things I typically get for the boxes, though I mix it up each depending on what I find:

You can find more ideas and a little more detail about our DIY boxes to celebrate Advent as a family on this post.

Tip #5 to Celebrate Advent as a Family:

Take a brief minute to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas as you celebrate Advent as a family.


Our routine is to read a short devotional from this book, hang the corresponding ornament on the pop-up tree, open the Advent box for the day, and have a short prayer.  It takes us about 5-7 minutes and it is time well-spent.

If you’re following me on Instagram, I’ll be sharing a Christmas verse each day, beginning on December 1st.

You are welcome to follow along and have each family member take turns reading the verse.

Even a one-minute discussion about the verse and a quick prayer can help your family set the tone of keeping the Reason for the Season a focal point in your home.

Use the time in your car to keep the radio tuned to a station that plays Christmas music.  Our favorite praise and worship station is always on low in our home, too, and I love that it helps create a cozy environment in our home, but a meaningful one as well.

Tip: Be intentional If you create celebrations that are simple and easy enough to maintain, you’ll be able to turn it into a tradition that your family looks forward to each year.

It was the best thing our family could have possibly done to add depth and meaning to the Christmas season in our home.

If you celebrate Advent, whether as a family or in your personal time, I’d love to hear your ideas.  There are so many different things you can do.  The important thing is to just make it a focus and actually enjoy it together.

It will undoubtedly be imperfect.  Each season, there is a day or two that we miss and have to make up the next day.

Sometimes it feels like we all come flying in and land in a heap for a moment before we head out the door to begin our days.

The kids forget who’s turn it is and there are always a couple of days that include “discussions.”

But regardless of how messy it can be, I love that we celebrate and we celebrate together.

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  












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