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Christ Centered Christmas Activities for Advent

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Christ Centered Christmas

This time of year can be incredibly busy, but it is important to be intentional with making sure our families understand the reason for the season. The holiday season is here, are you ready to make it a Christ centered Christmas?

Christ Centered Family Christmas
Christian alternatives to elf on the shelf

The Reason For The Season

Faith at home is something that is very important to us. Living out Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Some people start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, others December 1st. I can watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music year round.

One thing that we try to do is make the season about Christ, and not Santa or gifts. We are still working on our traditions. We do not ‘do’ Santa.

We do not hold being naughty or nice over the children’s heads. God’s gift of grace is completely undeserved, and we should strive to live holy lives not because we might not get a treat if we are naughty, but because we love Jesus.

Santa is not the all-seeing, all-knowing being that many make him out to be. Only God is. An Elf sent to spy on the kids does not quite fit with our goals for the Christmas season.

A lot of families do Elf on the Shelf, but I’ve been looking for more Christ centered Christmas/Advent activities. I found one that I really like, I think we will try to start it next year, but here are some ideas for you. Some are very much like Elf, others are printables, or other activities.

What We Are Using This Year For Our Christ Centered Christmas

Since having a Christ centered Christmas is important to us, I sought out some resources that point to Jesus as the reason for the season.

Donkey In The Living Room

Christ Centered Christmas activity The Donkey in the Living Room Nativity Set The Donkey in the Living Room Nativity Set
By B&H Kids

Encourage your kids to discover the true meaning of Christmas with The Donkey in the Living Room Nativity Set. Little kids will love reading along and discovering the individual stories of the characters present at Jesus’ birth: the Donkey, Cow, Sheep, Shepherd, Angel, Camel, Wise Men, Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. Each story is meant to be read in the 9-days leading up to Christmas, as you unwrap the 10 wooden figures that correspond to the illustrations in the story! A fun and engaging Christmas tradition for the whole family!

The King Is Coming

Christ Centered Christmas activity The King is Coming Devotion The King is Coming Devotion
By Tiny Theologians

How will your family keep Jesus at the center of the holiday season? This simple set of cards makes it EASY for kids (and parents!) to remember what Christmas is all about! The true King, Jesus, has come and has promised to come again! That’s what we hope to help each family remember with The King is Coming! This set includes 25 cards which double as bright and inviting ornaments for your tree. Just pick a card off your tree each day, and read the key verse on the front. Then, flip the card over to find a short family devotional and a conversation prompt that will help your family engage that day’s key verse and personalize what you are learning. As your family uses these at breakfast, in your morning basket, at the dinner table, or at bedtime, it is our prayer that you remember: Jesus is our King, and he is on his way!

The ABCs of Christmas

The ABCs of Christmas
By Tiny Theologians

This Advent, teach your Tiny Theologians all about Christ! This set of ABC cards helps your children understand what the holiday season is all about: Jesus! With simple and concise definitions on each card and gospel-centered conversation prompts, you and your family can make the month of December all about Jesus.

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

I love this idea from Not Consumed! You do not need much of a budget either.

What better time of year than Christmas to let people know that they are loved by the maker of the universe?

Grab the free printable and more information here.

Countdown to Christmas Card Set

Countdown to Christmas
By Not Consumed

On their own, these cards carry simple, helpful truths, but were designed to correspond with our Uncovering Mercies at the Manger Christmas Bible study! Together, they bring the lessons to life in a visual and tangible way. Use the included clips to hang the cards anywhere in your home (we also included a length of twine to help with the hanging!) and flip a card over each day as you read the corresponding Bible study lesson.

Christ Centered Christmas Scripture Cards

I am printing off these beautiful, free printable Scripture Cards from Not Consumed to put up around the house this year.

You can grab it free here.

Some Other Great Christ Centered Christmas Tools

Adoration at the Manger Study

We sing the same Christmas carols every year, but when was the last time you stopped to consider their deep, spiritual meaning? How can our kids understand the true meaning of Christmas if they don’t even know what they’re singing?

In Adoration at the Manger, we show how Christmas carols were written to tell the story of Jesus coming to earth as our Savior. This is the real reason we celebrate this joyous holiday. By looking at both God’s word and classic Christmas hymns, this Christmas Bible study explains the true meaning of Christmas in a meaningful, memorable way!


I ran across this book quite by accident, but it was a good read for our Christmas 2022 season.

Christ Centered Christmas activity Emmanuel: An Invitation to Prepare Him Room at Christmas and Always
By Ruth Chou Simons / Harvest House Publishers

Christmas isn’t the end of our celebrations—it’s only the beginning! In this gorgeously illustrated 25-day Advent devotional, best-selling author Simons invites you to let the story of Jesus’ birth change the way you celebrate the season. Discover how to replace unrealistic expectations with a simple focus on experiencing “God with us” every day—all year long! 240 pages, hardcover from Harvest.

The Heart of Christmas

Since the kids are little, I think we are going to do The Heart of Christmas Ideas from Premeditated Leftovers. It is simple enough and I can tailor it to fit my kid’s age levels.

I love this idea. Basically you take a baby Jesus (I will be using a Little People Nativity one), and hide Him around the house with special instructions for the day for various acts of kindness and ways to focus on Christ. The idea being that each morning, you seek Jesus and His instructions for the day.

The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger box set includes everything you’ll need to bring the spirit of service into your home. As your Christmas season unfolds your hearts and home will be filled with more joy and love than ever before. This tradition will become a family favorite year after year + it will create some of your most cherished Christmas memories.
We believe in this product and the way it can help shift the focus of Christmas to serving. To us this is more than a business. It’s a way to spread kindness + promote service.  Your support means the world to us!

The Shepherd’s Search

The Shepherd’s Search is very much like the Elf on the Shelf, only he is on the search for baby Jesus. I got this one a couple of years ago, but the Shepherd and Camel usually just make an appearance at our Creche.

Uncovering Mercies at the Manger

Mercies at the Manger Bible Study Christmas/Advent Bible Study

In this study, you will get a front-row seat as the BEST story ever is unfolded one precious truth at a time. Search out the mystery of the gospel and understand how each piece of Jesus’ story fits together to show God’s breathtaking and merciful plan. 

Uncovering Mercies at the Manger is a 25-day Bible study is a beautiful and purposeful way to lead up to Christmas day. 

Truth in the Tinsel

A great way to refocus on Jesus this Christmas season. Each day of advent, Truth in the Tinsel will lead you through a passage of Scripture, a corresponding ornament craft, and talking points for you and your children.

The Joyful Journey

666642: The Joyful Journey, Games and Activities Collection The Joyful Journey, Games and Activities Collection
By Lori Siebert

Nativity set game for family fun during Advent
  • Set includes spinner, card stack and four shaped wood animals
  • Design by Lori Siebert
  • Packaged in fabric, drawstring tote bag
  • 4 playing pieces, spinner, 69 conversation cards. Cards are 2″ x 3.5″. Bag is 11″ x 7″
  • For children age 3 and up
  • Advent Christmas Joyful Journey

What God Wants for Christmas

What God Wants for Christmas is an interactive learning experience. Seven gift boxes to open will bring your child on a journey to Bethlehem, learning from the Biblical characters the true meaning of Christmas.

The only down side to this is that is only a week’s worth of activities, but especially if your kids are little, you can do it for a couple of weeks before Christmas. Children learn best through repetition. 

We have done this for a couple of years and really enjoy it.

Star From Afar

Star From Afar is another Elf alternative. You set up your nativity and every night you hide the star. The next day the children seek out the star and move the wise men to its location and read the corresponding Scripture.

Repeat each day until Christmas eve when you place it over the stable so that the wise men find Jesus on Christmas morning. I will quibble with the fact that the wise men are the ones finding Jesus on Christmas morning, as Scripture says that Jesus was a toddler, mostly likely between 1 and 2 by the time that they came, but it is a fun activity and you could easily explain that to children.

The Good Deeds Manger

The Good Deeds Manger is a Christian activity for the holidays highlighting the importance of doing a good deed daily and treating others with kindness.

This family activity centers on an empty manger during the weeks before Christmas. If you do a good deed, you earn realistic looking pieces of hay to put inside the manger.

Since it’s not likely that the hay will stay put with small children in the house, this is probably better suited for older children.

Journey to the Manger

978249: Journey to the Manger Advent Calendar Journey to the Manger Advent Calendar

Take your family on a fun-filled journey to the manger this Christmas season. Learn more about Bible characters related to the Nativity and help teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas. Packed full of fun activities, dive into each day of Advent with devotions and activities that will engage the entire family. Each book includes an Advent poster, Bible character stickers, daily faith activities, readings, kids’ puzzles, and more. Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.

The Shepherd’s Treasure

This is the one I want to get for next year. The Shepherd’s Treasure is very similar to the Elf, only your shepherd is searching for treasure.

Your Shepherd shows up next to the book that he comes with. You read it as a family, name your shepherd, then the search is on.

Each day your shepherd has adventures looking for the treasure. On Christmas Day, he finds Jesus, the ultimate Treasure.

There website has a bunch of ideas for your shepherd’s search. If you watch their Facebook page closely, they do run some great Black Friday Specials, but they sell out quickly, so check early.

Right now, all of the shepherds are of European descent, but they plan to add more next year.

The Twelve Names of Christmas

The Twelve Names of Christmas is a 12 day ornament base advent activity pack. There is an ornament and two page story for each day.

You can hang all of the ornaments at once when you decorate the tree and then have kids find them, or hang one each day as you tell the story.

The ornaments are pretty and brightly colored. A good way to make a Christ centered Christmas for any age.

The Way to the Manger

901932: The Way to the Manger: A Family Advent Devotional The Way to the Manger: A Family Advent Devotional
By Jeff & Abbey Land

The Way to the Manger is a 25-day family Advent devotional that engages families with the biblical truth of Christmas as they wait for the arrival of the Savior on Christmas Day. Sure to become a keepsake that is revisited year after year, it walks through the themes of hope, love, joy, and peace with talking points and activities for families to enjoy together. Hardcover with ribbon marker. Feature include:

  • 25 family devotions
  • Memory-maker journaling pages to fill with Advent memories each year
  • Family activities and crafts
  • Discussion questions
  • An Advent wreath guide

The Littlest Watchman

982676: The Littlest Watchman - Advent Calendar The Littlest Watchman – Advent Calendar

Based on Scott James’s best-selling children’s book, this colorful Advent calendar introduces a member of Jesus’ family every day. Tear them off to create your own Jesse tree! Includes companion devotional.

A Jesse Tree

This is another one that I would love to incorporate in our home.

Based on Isaiah 11:1, the Jesse Tree is an advent tradition the uses 25 ornaments to tell Bible stories leading up to the birth of Jesus.

There are many, many vendors that sell ornaments (I personally love these), but one of the great things about this tradition is that you can also make your own, either to start with or each year.

Some Jesse Tree Resources:

Jesse Tree Devotions: A Family Activity for Advent

The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas 

Pinterest and Google.

Miracle In a Manger

990011: Miracle in a Manger ™ Christmas Activity for Kids Miracle in a Manger ™ Christmas Activity for Kids

The fun and interactive Christmas tradition of the Miracle in a Manger helps kids celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!  This daily Advent activity comes with a plush angel doll that transforms into Baby Jesus.   The accompanying Activity Card Set and hardcover Storybook guide children through the wonder and birth of Christ.


  • Plush Angel Doll which simply transforms into baby Jesus.
  • Plush Manger
  • 25 Pieces of soft hay
  • 25 Activity Card Set
  • Illustrated Hardcover Storybook

The Case for Christmas

340591: The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger
By Lee Strobel

Who was in the manger that first Christmas morning? Some say he would become a great moral leader. Others, a social critic. Still others view Jesus as a profound philosopher, a rabbi, a feminist, a prophet, and more. Many are convinced he was the divine Son of God.

Who was he really? And how can you know for sure?

Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, award-winning legal journalist Lee Strobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger. If Jesus really was God in the flesh, then there ought to be credible evidence, including:
  • Eyewitness Evidence – Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?
  • Scientific Evidence – What does archaeology reveal?
  • Profile Evidence – Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God?
  • Fingerprint Evidence – Did Jesus uniquely match the identity of the Messiah?
The Case for Christmas invites readers to consider why Christmas matters in the first place. Somewhere beyond the traditions of the holiday lies the truth. This little book is perfect as a gift or for use in ministry during the Christmas season or any other time of the year.

I reached out to some fellow bloggers for their Christ centered Christmas ideas & advent, here is what they shared with me:

What are some of your special Christ centered Christmas traditions?

6 thoughts on “Christ Centered Christmas Activities for Advent

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