All of us can probably recall making an advent chain out of scraps of construction paper early in our lives. I think I made my first one in Mrs. Waterfield’s nursery school with my best friend Chucky. You remember these right? 25 loops of paper hooked together used to count-down to Christmas. Each day starting on December first you remove a link, visually showing the approach to the big day. This simple project offers up lots of options for variation, embellishment, and improvement. There really is no limits to the creativity for the advent chain.
You could create loops that each day recounted a special verse of scripture related to the coming arrival of the messiah. Use these to have a discussion each night as a family about the real importance of the advent season. The blog site Spell Out Loud offered a clever idea about a Names of Jesus Advent Chain. Another great idea for your chain is to list things to do each day on the loops. This gives you a little “gift” each day of a family activity or holiday prep chore to complete. You could spend some family planning time at Thanksgiving to design your chain links. Think of all the things you could add to the chain list! The website Christmas Your Way offers a list of ideas for your own Printable Advent Chain. You could also vary this idea to create a chain with a list of family bonding activities like “Read Night Before Christmas as a Family” or “Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “Make Shortbread”. Of course children should always be a large part of your advent chain plans. The website Activity Village has a fantastic link for Advent Crafts for Kids. I have lots of ideas for awesome chains to make this year. I think Uncle Jay will be making some of these on Thanksgiving with some special little people. Oh! They can also be great gifts. Think of how happy grandma will be to get a chain of special messages from the grandkids to countdown to Christmas 2012!