Do you have a favorite family Advent tradition? Perhaps your family does a Jesse Tree together. Or maybe you have an Advent wreath on your dining room table. Do you wait until the day after Thanksgiving before turning on Christmas music?
Advent starts December 2 this year: less than a month away! We have a great lineup of recommended family Advent devotional guides for you, no matter what ages your kids are. If you’ve never read a family Advent devotional together before, this is a good year to start! If you have, perhaps you’ll find a new resource below that can expand on an existing tradition. If you are a classroom or Sunday school teacher, you can adapt several of these for classroom use.
Family Advent Devotional List
Titles are listed in order of age appropriateness; titles are linked to Redeemed Reader reviews so you can read more about them!
For families with young kids (or those who love the Jesse Tree!):
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp. Bold, symbolic illustrations accompany Voskamp’s meditation on the Jesse tree. Jesus is not just the “reason for the season,” he is the greatest gift that’s ever been given!
For families with young kids (and up!) who love crafts:
Truth in the Tinsel is all about Jesus–and making an ornament every day from easy-to-find supplies. Kids of all ages will get into the crafty spirit while they learn more about Jesus and his birth.
For families with elementary school kids and up who want a well-rounded Advent devotional with songs, stories, and Scripture:
*Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus by Marty Machowski. A family devotional with Scripture, reflections, an original story, music, and activities, this is indeed a celebration of the birth of Christ. This is one our favorite resources!
For family with kids of all ages who want a little something different:
*Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu. A family devotional that follows a traditional 4-week Advent schedule with daily readings that focus on a particular name for Jesus. Activities, Scripture readings, and more round out the selections.
For the family who loves Handel’s Messiah (or who wants to learn how to love it!):
*Hallelujah: A Journey Through Advent with Handel’s Messiah by Cindy Rollins. This succinct listening guide walks readers through Messiah with “what to listen for” weekly reflections and daily scripture + music tracks to enjoy. Easy to adapt and use, even if you are traveling over the holidays.
For families with middle school kids and up who love literature:
*Wild Bells by Missy Andrews. Each day’s reading features a classic literature text (primarily poetry) followed by a reflection on that work and its connections to Advent. A lovely collection of the some of the best Christmas-related literature from authors such as Christina Rossetti, George Herbert, John Milton, G. K. Chesterton, and more. This one also makes a lovely, private-devotional aid.
For families with middle school kids and up who love to grapple with theology and big ideas:
God Rest Ye Merry by Douglas Wilson. Wilson’s signature energetic, meaty rhetoric tackles the celebration of Christmas (good and bad), the historical and political implications of the Incarnation, and more in several chapters of analysis followed by daily readings for the Advent season, reflecting on the same themes.
For families with teens who want to look at the big picture:
Behold the Lamb by Russ Ramsey. This devotional picks up the echoes of Jesus and the Incarnation through the millennia, reminding us how God’s purposes unfold and overlap. Bonus: if you like Andrew Peterson’s music, check out his CD by the same title.
For families with teens who want a theology-rich daily meditation:
Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp. This can be adapted to younger readers, but teens and up will get the most out of this daily devotional that looks at the full ramifications of Christ’s Incarnation.
For families with teens who need to reclaim their joy:
The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper. Daily, short readings that focus on our joy in Christ are meant more for private devotions, but work well as a way to focus the family together, too!
For families with older teens who need a fresh look at the Christmas story:
Preparing for Jesus by Walter Wangerin, Jr. Wangerin’s imaginative reflections on the different characters of the Christmas story prompt readers to reflect anew on the wonder of this amazing event.