As I started prepping for this Christmas season, I realized I needed to do a bit more for Landon. He is now 4.5 and Allie is 1.5. I still stick to only 2-3 Advent activities a week and we utilize local things happening around our community. Props to you Mommas who get up and move Elves/Angels/Shepherds/Stars etc. every day. I just ain't got it in me. BUT, I do still want the kids to have the fun memories associated with it and I wanted to make sure I did it the way I wanted to. I scrolled all over the internet looking at all the options and decided on the Shepherd on the Search. I knew I wanted to do a stuffed animal of sorts and I love all the products out now that really zero in on the Christmas Story. I also wanted some printable cards that I could use with the Shepherd, but never loved anything I found.
So this entrepreneurial Momma took matters into her own hands and made my own! And guess what? I have them for you, for FREE! (The link to download the cards is at the end of this post) I simply went to my local print store, printed them out, cut and laminated. I made sure I placed my hand in this photo so you could see how big they were. They're perfect size for using with your kiddos! And remember, there's not one for every day. I just made 11 cards because that was all I needed for my 2-3 days a week schedule.
I know somebody will ask (and I don't blame you) so here's my planned rundown for these cards and our Shepherd's journey:
(Note: The verses listed help you identify which card I'm referencing)
Day 1: Jeremiah 29:13
Read book, name Shepherd, give kids new Christmas cups
Day 2: Help me decorate!
Have Shepherd sitting beside Gingerbread House kit
Day 3: John 3:16
Have the Shepherd inside the tree holding candy canes and explain salvation using candy canes. Have candy canes for them, too.
Day 4: Psalm 119:105
Have Shepherd reading Jesus Storybook Bible, holding a flashlight
Day 5: 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Have Shepherd kneeling to pray
Day 6: 2 Corinthians 9:15
Have Shepherd with new Christmas gift for my kids (Polar Express Movie, for mine this year) and some gifts to give to friends (You've Been Jingled goody baskets)
Day 7: ____ Days Away!
Have Shepherd accompany a Christmas Craft to complete
Day 8: Luke 2:11
Have Shepherd holding materials for Cinnamon Reindeer Ornament crafts
Day 9: 2 Corinthians 9:7
Have Shepherd sitting on the supplies to make our Neighbor Goody Bags
Day 10: Isaiah 9:6
Have Shepherd holding materials for Christmas craft
Day 11: Happy Birthday Jesus!
Have Shepherd sitting beside Jesus' birthday cake with Little People Nativity Set nearby.
I'll do this one on Christmas morning. We don't do a cake, but instead put candles inside our Christmas morning cinnamon rolls and sing Happy Birthday.
Other ideas you could use, I've used before:
- Reading the Christmas story
- Reading the Night Before Christmas
- With tickets to a local event
- With new Christmas PJs
- With a new Christmas book
Here are some great Products to help you incorporate Jesus in your Christmas season!
Advent Scripture Cards (these go along with the Jesus Storybook Bible)
*I ordered these for my kids this year! We'll use them at bed time.
Shepherd on the Search
*I bought this for my kids this year.
*I almost bought this one because I liked the cards, but decided to make my own to fit my family's needs better.
The Giving Manger
Kids learn about being kind and every time they do a kind thing, they add a piece of straw to the manger.
A Star From Afar
Kids search for the star leading up to Christmas Day.
A fun way for kids to practice acts of kindness during the season.
The Donkey in the Living Room
The 10 days leading up to Christmas, you hide a wooden nativity character/animal and the kids find it. You read the coordinating page in the book about that character/animal and the significance to the Christmas story.
*I bought this for Landon about 2 years ago. It's a great way to teach younger kids who was at Jesus' birth and why they're important. He loved searching for the pieces each morning. Now, he likes playing with them.
The Christmas Angel
Hopefully, you can find what fits best for you and your family!! There's no right or wrong decision - Elf, Angel, Shepherd, Scripture Cards, or a mixture of several......just do what is right for YOU and your family!!!!
My Printable Advent Cards are FREE to you! Download the PDF file below, print them off at your local print store (I went to FedEx) cut and laminate!