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Countdown to Christmas

Advent is ‘the final countdown’ to Christmas day and many children will have an Advent calendar to help them count the days. It’s also a really special time for the church. Here’s more about why it’s so special, and some Advent activities for children.

The words Advent simply means ‘coming’ – it’s the season when Christians remember that God came to earth to be born as the Christ child, Jesus.

God also promised that Jesus will come again at the end of time to heal all the world’s hurts and divisions. Advent remembers this amazing promise, so it’s a time of hope, of getting ready, and expectation.

Waiting is hard, but Christmas is worth waiting for – it’s a special time, and at its heart is a gift of love from God to the world. Talk about which things about Christmas are hard to wait for and which are worth saving until the day.

Advent at home

If your family enjoys chocolate, you might like a Real Advent Calendar (www.realadvent.co.uk). These calendars have a piece of Belgian Fairtrade chocolate behind every window, plus an illustrated Christmas story booklet that you can read together as a family. A percentage of each purchase is also donated to a good cause.

There are other Advent calendars which present the Christmas story, like one offered on the Traidcraft website: www.traidcraftshop.co.uk by Divine chocolates.

Both of these calendars are available at Tesco stores too, while stocks last.

If you’re holding off on the chocolate, an Advent candle is a lovely way to count down the days – it’s marked with the numbers 1 to 25 so you can burn a little each day and still have enough left to light up your Christmas day. You can find them in Christian bookshops and some department stores. There is one available on www.eden.co.uk and on the Traidcraft website, www.traidcraftshop.co.uk

If you believe that simple acts of kindness and creativity can make the world a better place, why not get hold of a Love Life Live Advent booklet (www.liveadvent.net), it’s packed with thoughtful and practical actions that you can do together as a family to help you prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas and to make your corner of the world a better place.

Article taken from www.churchofenglandchristenings.org with permission.

For details of other Family-friendly activities and events locally see www.ChristmasInMaidstone.com