The Beestons: Advent Calendars

Rich and Ali Beeston

Rich and Ali to go church with us at Five Dock. Ali has shared some stories about how they mark time during Advent with their toddler. Thanks Ali!

Who is in your family?

Three of us – my husband, myself and my almost four year old.


What’s your favourite thing about waiting for Christmas?

I think watching excitement grow as the day gets closer but also having time to reflect on what the first Christmas actually means for us. I often find Christmas Day can be so frantic that we don’t always stop and reflect on why Jesus birth is even beyond celebrated. The weeks leading up to Christmas give me a chance to think about this.

How do you celebrate Advent in your home?

We have two Advent calendars. One has a chocolate every day which we take in turns to open and eat. (Often we’ll break the chocolate into 3 tiny pieces to share). I like this calendar because it builds on the excitement of counting down (and also helps teach my little one about sharing).
The second Advent calendar we have has wooden drawers. One for each day. In each drawer is a fimo character/prop from the story of Jesus birth (1 Mary, 1 angel, 1 Joseph, 1 baby Jesus, 1 manger, 4 shepherds, 4 sheep, 1 choir of angels, 5 wise men, 3 gifts, 1 king Herod, 1 Star). We’ve also divided the gospel accounts (from Matthew and Luke) into 24 readings (which are also placed in there drawers) so that each day we read a part of the story. This has been a great way to see the build up in the number of people that responded to the birth of Jesus and to take some time to reflect on all the people in the story. On Christmas Day we read all 24 sections in one sitting bringing together the story and its parts.
What Advent resources do you use with your child?
We also read a number of Christmas books through out December. Some are fiction like “Maisy Makes Gingerbread” but we also read a number of picture books about Jesus birth. We particularly like the books and children’s bibles that mention Simeon and Anna, as it helps to tie into the idea of waiting as we celebrate Advent.


What do you hope to teach your children as Christmas approaches?

That Jesus was a baby that changed everything and (probably something she’ll understand more as she gets older) that his life demands a response.