INSIDE: Awesome decor, snacks, books, and games to throw a birthday party for Jesus with your kids!
I’m excited to welcome Julie Kieras from Happy Strong Home to my blog today!
As much as the advent season is a time of waiting and contemplation, with young children you can’t help but be drawn towards the celebratory side of Jesus’ birth.
The angels sing. Mary sings. The shepherds sing. Such a joy-filled time of song and wonder, joy and excitement can open a door into our children’s hearts, allowing us to guide them into thinking about the deeper meanings of Christ’s first coming.
Because what child doesn’t love and understand the concept of a birthday party? The waiting for the big day. The gifts (also awaited!). The central figure (birthday boy or girl!). The song of celebration, along with feasting (cake!), and enjoyment.
Create an advent birthday party for Jesus as a way to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas, while celebrating His birth.
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Easy Ideas for an Advent Birthday Party for Jesus
Decorate an area of the home or even just a small table for the party. Use what you have on hand, or grab a few quick supplies at a dollar store. As much as possible, I try to use what I have on-hand to create parties for my kids.
For our party, I covered a folding table with white fabric from my sewing stash, and a gold napkin I unfolded to make a diamond in the middle.
Using paper stars (teacher supplies), I sewed them together into three strands, then hung them for a starry banner to represent the night sky when the angel appeared to the shepherds.
I found a glittery tree topper star at the dollar store, which I used to represent the star the wise men followed.
Our wooden nativity set became our primary décor for the table, and I’m sure most families with small ones have a set already.
Christmas books on the back of the table or along the floor also add a festive touch. And I love when décor can be used for other purposes!
>>Related Reading: 10 Must-Have Gospel-Centered Christmas Picture Books
Battery-operated candles are always a safe choice for children’s party décor! Use them for tabletop décor and later for an activity.
Advent Birthday Party for Jesus: Food Ideas
Of course, each family should serve what they know their children will enjoy. But here’s a few ideas that add to the Advent Birthday Party for Jesus theme
Build a Nativity Snack Bar: Give children trays or paper plates to select items from the bar to build a nativity scene:
- Short pretzel rods to build a stable
- A cupcake liner with half a hard-boiled egg to represent Jesus in swaddling clothes
- Graham crackers or other rectangular crackers to wedge under the egg to form the manger
- Animal crackers to place around the stable
- Star and people cookies for Mary, Joseph and the Star of Bethlehem. These can be harder to find, so I just made some quick Tortilla Cookie Shapes the night before. Get the Cinnamon Tortilla Cookie recipe here.
Foods of Bethlehem Platter: Create a small platter with foods that Mary and Joseph may have eaten while in Bethlehem. These may or may not be to your child’s liking, but you never know. It’s a learning experience to talk about the foods of Jesus’ time, and let kids try new flavors.
Birthday cake for Jesus: This can be any cake you like, or cupcakes! I chose a blueberry coffee cake because it was just a little different than traditional birthday cakes, and sort of matched the simple feel of our party.
Advent Birthday Party for Jesus: Activities
Choose a few simple games and activities to round out your party. Here’s some ideas we have enjoyed.
Write or Draw Christmas cards for those in need: missionaries, orphans, veterans, nursing homes.
A Grab Bag Gift Exchange can be fun, although for our family we wanted to focus more on the message of the advent and less on getting gifts (I told my children the party was my gift to them and nothing needed in return, to show that you don’t always have to get a gift when you give one).
Create a Nativity Scene: Fairly simple to throw together. I printed clip art nativity images on cardstock and laminated (optional), then cut out and gave each child a set along with a container of play dough. The children flattened the dough into the bottom of a paper plate, and as I read the Christmas story they placed the people, animals, and star in the dough, or played as they desired.
Nativity Treasure Hunt: Instead of using the wooden nativity as a tabletop décor (or if you have another set), hide the pieces around the house or room, and have the children find each piece. When they find a piece, they can bring it to you to hear a little about that item. You could create clues for the hiding location, or simply let the kids hunt. Simple is always best.
Candlelight story time: Children can sit on a blanket in a darkened room, holding a battery-operated candle. Use a larger lantern or flashlight to read a favorite Christmas storybook and sing some Christmas carols. This is always a peaceful way to wind down the party.
I like to keep our Advent activities simple and easy to help us focus more on the message than on parties, gifts, and events themselves. Still, taking a few hours one day to host an Advent Birthday Party for Jesus will be a memorable experience that will sink into their little hearts and prepare them for Christmas Day.
I pray this year, your family’s Advent celebrations and contemplations leads your family to a place of rest, hope, and joy!
For more Advent ideas at bedtime, sign up for Christie’s “20 bedtime activities to put the Christ back in Christmas”
Julie Kieras is a wife and mom to two boys, as well as homeschooler, Sunday School teacher, writer, and blogger. She writes about natural living and wholesome family activities on her blog at HappyStrongHome.com, and strives to put the Lord first in their home. Reading classic and historical literature is one of her favorite pastimes, and she enjoys creating hands-on kids’ activities and parties for her boys. You can see more of her themed kids’ birthday party ideas here, as well as grab a free download of her ebook, “101 Tech Free Toddler Activities” on her website.