It may be a few more days before I can finish updating the full Advent Links & Resources compilation. But I wanted to post here some of the interesting new (or new to me) Advent resources I’ve been discovering in recent days as I’ve been searching the web. All of the links below will eventually get added into the 2008 version of our Advent Links post. Feel free to point me to other great resources!
WOW!! You MUST check out this site. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! An Online Advent Calendar at “Teaching Mom”: This link is to the 2007 calendar. I really hope it’s updated for 2008 as it looks like an absolutely amazing and excellent resource. Here’s how the website describes what the Advent calendar includes:
Using Our Advent Calendar
Every day on the TeachingMOM Advent Calendar is full of goodies to help you and your family create some wonderful traditions this Advent and Christmas, as well as have some good old-fashioned fun! You’ll probably learn a few interesting facts about the season as well. We’ve collected some of the best on the net–and your public library!–for you all in one convenient spot. But don’t feel that you should be doing everything listed on each day!
The Advent Calendar was made to be used over again for as many years as you can get something out of it. So you probably won’t light the Advent candles, do a Jesse Tree AND make Chrismon ornaments all in the same year. And you may not have time for all of the “Advent Extras” I’ve thrown in! Don’t worry. The Advent Calendar will be here for years to come and I’ll update the links and make appropriate changes each year. So relax, choose some fun things to study and do, and enjoy! God bless you this Christmas. ~Leigh Ann
Each day has bible passages, a “Jesse Tree” verse, a Chrismon ornament pattern, links to devotionals or articles about Advent, and all sorts of “Advent Extras” — book recommendations, a hymn, an advent-themed artwork, recipes, a bit of Advent history or an explanation of an Advent tradition. There are many links for each day. I am REALLY excited by this site. It’s amazing how comprehensive it is. I can’t wait to dig deeper. This may well become my first Advent destination each day. One caution, even in just some brief exploration I found a lot of links here that have gone dead. However, don’t despair! Often the dead sites can be found via Google’s cache or the web archive site. So, if there’s a link that really interests you, see if you can access it by one of these “back door” methods. I might post a short tutorial about how to do this in the comments.
Here are just a few examples of some cool links I found by browsing around a few of the day’s in Teaching Mom’s Advent calendar. A bunch of the links below are from the Reformed Church in America’s Advent, Christmas and Epiphany webpage. See also their Advent Resources page. (Boy wouldn’t it be nice if we could find similar excellent Scripture-based resources on The Episcopal Church’s website. Sigh.)
Highly recommended! Daily Jesse Tree family devotions: A Scripture verse and symbol for each day of Advent. Updated for 2008. Excellent! Instructions for making a Jesse Tree and Jesse Tree ornament symbols & patterns
Potpourri of ideas for Advent & Christmas I really liked the idea of an Advent chain from this site, and am going to do a separate post on it.
Children’s bulletin inserts for Advent — these Black & White inserts are from 2006, so the dates would need to change, but these look fun…; I just discovered there are 2008 inserts available as well. These are in color.
Looking beyond Advent, here are some ideas for celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas
A site with all sorts of patterns for Chrismon ornaments (the site navigation is a bit awkward, click on the links at the top of the page, or follow the numbers on some of the sub-pages. Keep clicking around, there’s a lot of ornament patterns of different types here, it’s just not all that well organized).
Here are some interesting Advent Calendar, Advent Wreath (and other Advent craft) ideas:
An Advent “clothesline” (you could put something other than candy in each clothespin — a verse or an Advent activity idea, etc. Note there is some offensive language in this blog entry, but the idea is cute.)
More Baptists “get” Advent. It’s been intriguing to me to see how widespread the celebration of Advent is becoming, even in non-liturgical churches. My latest evidence, a blog entry on Advent resources posted by the Cooperative Baptist Foundation forum. One resource that caught my eye on that page was a brief powerpoint presentation with an overview of Advent — it might be a useful Sunday School resource.
Ok, that’s it for tonight… stay tuned for more new links in the next few days. There is so much Advent stuff online, it takes a long time to sort through it all. But it’s a lot of fun!