Before my kids were born, my mom bought a wooden Advent calendar for me and told me to tuck it away until I had kids. It's one of my favorite things to get out and display each year. With 24 little doors of various shapes and sizes, it's irresistible and the kids love it. They fall all over each other to find the appropriately numbered door for each night's Advent reading, and then fall all over each other again wondering what might be behind the door, even though every single night for as long as I can remember it has always been the exact same thing. Traditionally, Greg has read a few verses each night about the birth of Jesus from Luke, but as the kids have gotten older they've become ready for something longer than just a verse or two.
Last year we began using the book Why Christmas? and really loved the rich time of talk and reflection it provided for our family. We will definitely be using the book again this year, and I highly recommend it.
I'm also doing a morning Advent time with the kids as part of our school day. I bought each one of them one of those cardboard Advent calendars full of chocolates, and we're trying Ann Voscamp's Jesse Tree Advent devotional. Her writing is so interesting and colorful - I love it, and think my kids will too.
How about you? How do you celebrate Advent, either alone or with your families?