In the Orthodox Church, the Nativity Fast begins on November 15 (Gregorian calendar), and we wanted to share some fun ideas for journeying through the season.
We released the first ever reusable, 40 day, felt pocketed Advent Calendar, and it is a great backdrop for many activities with your kids. Here are some ideas!
For little ones:
🌟A felt star is included with the advent calendar. This can be glued onto a popsicle stick, and moved day to day, until the star is over the Nativity scene on Christmas. This a great visual for little ones as they can watch the star getting close to Christ
You can put something in the pockets, like…
📖a short Bible verse to commit to memory each day
💗note with an act of kindness to do (“Tell your sibling something you love about them.” “Choose 5 toys to donate.” etc)
💰some coins and have an almsgiving jar nearby for your little one to drop them into (then donate the money together after Christmas!)
🍬a little treat
☦️wrap up a little icon for them and put it in the Nativity scene pocket to be opened on Christmas Day
For older kids:
📖separate the Christmas story in the Bible up into 40 sections. Memorize 1 section per day, and recite it with the previous ones. By the end, you will have the entire Christmas story memorized!
✏️a note every day with something you love about them
😊and all of the above ideas!
And of course, there’s the incredible Welcoming the Christ Child set. This is a book that starts with Creation and has a reading and discussion questions for every day for each of the 40 days, culminating with the Nativity. Each reading is a story from the Bible, and demonstrates how they all point to Christ. The beautiful illustrations from the book have been made into an accompanying ornament set. The ornaments fit perfectly in the large advent calendar pockets! This is a wonderful resource that can be used year after year.
This is a beautiful, joyful season of the year, and having special traditions to celebrate personally or with your family can add to the richness of the “little Lent.”
“Your Nativity, O Christ our God, / Has shone to the world the Light of wisdom! / For by it, those who worshipped the stars, / Were taught by a Star to adore You, / The Sun of Righteousness, / And to know You, the Orient from on High. / O Lord, glory to You!”