Celebrate the meaning of Advent with these simple Bible verses you can print and put in your advent calendar. It’s the Christmas story in 24 verses!
The Advent of My Advent Calendar
Since my kids were little bitty, this has been one of our favorite Christmas traditions. It’s a great way to celebrate the whole Christmas season, not just a few days at the end of December.
I don’t remember having an advent calendar growing up, but I found a cute one at Starbucks, of all places, a few years ago, and decided to give it a try. Mostly because I knew the chocolate inside would be yummy. My kids were too young at the time to participate, so I kept all the chocolate for myself.
It was basically a refillable box with drawers that you turn around, and over the course of the month, they reveal a fun winter scene, printed on the back side of the drawers.
Once I got past the first year when I ate all the goodies inside, I decided to refill it, and by that time the kids were old enough (at least the first one) to know when mom’s eating candy without them.
But instead of just giving my kids more candy, which in itself is a revered holiday tradition in our house, I wanted to give them something to think about.
We love Santa in our house, but I didn’t want to lose sight of the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place – Jesus. So I went searching for a way to use the advent calendar to tell the story of Jesus’ birth, and (surprise!) I found it in the Bible.
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I found and printed out 24 Bible verses that tell the story of events leading up to the birth of Jesus, including some of the prophecies about him and later New Testament references to why he came.
I put one verse in each drawer of the advent calendar, along with a little candy, and our advent calendar became a yearly tradition that the kids now start asking about before Thanksgiving.
I’ve had so many questions from friends and family about ours that I decided to share this free printable advent calendar with you. The hardest part is remembering when the first day of advent is! (Hint: for our calendar purposes, it’s December 1st.)
How to Use an Advent Calendar
This year I decided to share our tradition with you, in case you’re interested in starting your own.
You’ll need a reusable advent calendar, which you can buy or make. I don’t think Starbucks has the same one anymore, but I’ve linked to a few I like at the end of this post.
Then all you do is:
- Print out the Advent Calendar Bible Verses by following the free download instructions below.
- Cut them out. A paper trimmer like this one will help you get nice even straight lines. (Here are the replacement blades.)
- Roll or fold them up and put a verse in each drawer of your advent calendar.
- Open and read one verse per day starting on December 1. (We do ours after dinner.)
- The last verse will be on Christmas Eve.
What is the meaning of Advent anyway?
I looked it up and it turns out Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” I’d heard the term “advent” all my life around this time of year and I always thought it meant “waiting.” But I guess advent is actually what happens at the end of the advent season, God’s arrival in the birth of Christ.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is so filled with activities, parties, and shopping that it can feel overwhelming and rushed, with no time to reflect on what we’re so anxiously preparing for, and the real reason we celebrate.
In reality, what we’re usually preparing for is making our kids happy, keeping our family gatherings friendly, and of course lots of food. I think that’s why Christmas day, or the day after, usually brings such a let down.
The carols are sung. The bottom of the tree looks bare after all the presents have been opened. It’s over. Advent is behind us.
I know my kids don’t know what to do with themselves after all the toys are opened. And all that I have to look forward to is lots of dishes to clean, and more meals to make, when it seems like we just finished eating the big one.
But this year, I want to leave all that behind and realize that the 25th of December is not the end of the Christmas rush. It’s the beginning of why we celebrate. It’s good news, just arrived.
What once was lost has now been found. And redeemed. And adopted.
And we celebrate the beginning of that on December 25. The first day of the rest of our lives, as they say, not the end of the holiday season.
Happy Advent, Merry Christmas
So join me and my family as we wait in anticipation of what begins at the end of the advent season. Grab an advent calendar, some chocolate, and the advent Bible verses and let’s look forward, not backward this year.
I hope you have a blessed holiday season and a very Merry Christmas!
- Advent Calendar
- Candy or Treats
- Printable Bible Verses
- Print out the Bible Verses and cut out each one.
- Roll or fold each verse and put one in each drawer or door of your advent calendar, along with a couple pieces of candy or another small treat.
- Every night, starting Dec. 1, open one drawer and read the verse.
- By Dec. 24, you'll have told the whole Christmas story, just in time for Jesus' birthday!
M&Ms and Skittles make great filler candy because they don't leave residue behind on the inside of the drawer. Or you can opt for individually wrapped candies like kisses or mini candy bars.
At the end of the advent season, make sure you got all the candy out of the calendar before storing it away for next year!