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We love Christmas! In our home we love all the lights and the tree and the fun of it all but we also believe that it’s important not to let that all overshadow our celebration of the birth of Jesus. I think it’s important to teach our two boys about that as often as we can and so this year I actively looked for some ways to do just that. This morning I’m sharing two of them with you!
The first one is a fun new tradition we’re incorporating called Shepherd on the Search.
Thousands of years ago, the angels visited the shepherds and brought them good news of Jesus’ birth. When the shepherds heard this good news, they set off on an epic journey to search for the newborn baby Jesus. You can make this timeless story come alive with YOUR very own shepherd. His journey begins anew every Christmas season and ends on Christmas Day as your shepherd finds his way to the manger.
The Shepherd on the Search kit includes a soft shepherd, the hard box which serves as the manger, and a beautiful book. The book tells the story of how the angels appeared to the shepherds and brought them the good news of Jesus’ birth. The shepherds then set out to find him. The little shepherd in the story was told to stay behind but very much wanted to see Jesus and followed the others.
To make a fun new tradition your children can name your shepherd. Then you can hide your shepherd each night of Advent and each morning your children have a little search of their own- having fun while reminding them of the shepherds’ search for Jesus long ago.
To kick off our Advent season I want to have a special breakfast with our sons in which we introduce them to Shepherd on the Search and celebrate the beginning of Advent.
On the morning of December 1st my kids will come down to find the dinning room looking like this:
I wanted to go with a star theme. It’s my favorite Christmas symbol, and I love that it points to Christ just as it pointed to where he was born so long ago. I’m reminded of the song “Rise up Shepherd and Follow” which talks about the star too.
I hung some stars from the chandelier and decorated with gold confetti. I also included some gold where I could in the napkins and tableware.
For breakfast I will make some star-shaped pancakes and fruit to keep with the star theme.
After the breakfast we will read through The Shepherd on the Search book and talk about our plans for Advent.
I will also introduce them to our Advent coloring book.
There are 24 pages, one for each day of December 1st-24th. Each day we will color a page and read the Bible passage to help us learn a part of the Christmas story.
We will also made a Christmas countdown paper chain. I like that a paper chain can kelp kids visualize how many days until Christmas.
To make the paper chain you cut out 24 strips of paper. I chose red and green for Christmas.
Then you put a little glue on the end of one side.
Then fold the side with glue on it over to overlap with the other end of the strip and make a loop.
Repeat those steps but this time make your loop through the first circle.
Keep repeating until you have a chain with 24 loops. Each day your kids can take one loop off to show how you are one day closer to Christmas.
Find this craft and more Advent activities for free starting November 27th when you sign up on shepherdonthesearch.com. There will be recipes, crafts, games, and more. These fun advent activities can help your family create wonderful memories and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas even in the midst of a busy Christmas season.
Even if you’re traveling for the Christmas season grandparents, cousins, and other relatives can get in on the fun by having a shepherd at their house or by taking your own shepherd on the road with you.
Shepherd on the Search is available for purchase at shepherdonthesearch.com. It will also be available at LifeWay Christian stores, Family Christian stores, select Hallmark Gold Crown stores and select Christian bookstores.
I love hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions. What traditions do you and your family have at Christmas time? Let me know in the comments below!