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Being Intentional This Advent Season Part 2 – Ideas for Older Grandkids

Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications

In Part 1 of this blog, we looked at what it means to be intentional and shared practical ideas to share with younger grandchildren. In today’s Part 2, we will discuss ways to anticipate and celebrate this Advent season with our older grandchildren.

Week 1 – Promise

Scripture: Genesis 3:14-15

“So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’”

Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Ideas for Older Grandkids:

Promise to take them out for a snack, ice cream, hot chocolate, or coffee. When you go, use that time to talk about what it means to promise someone. Stress the importance that your word is your bond. People must know you can be counted on to keep your word. Discuss the possible reasons that promises are not kept.

Communicate that God has, is, and always will keep His word. His word has already been fulfilled, is being fulfilled, or will be fulfilled. It is as good as done or completed.

Share why this is so important. Have them tell you why it is important to them. Talk about promises of God that they are counting on in their life right now. Consider sharing about a time when one of God’s promises was what kept you going.

Read Isaiah 7:14 together. Find at least two miraculous things that are mentioned in the verse. Connect this prophecy with the Genesis passage.

Week 2 – Preparation

Scripture: Luke 1:30-31

“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.’”

Ideas for Older Grandkids:

Have them think of a time when it was hard to wait for something. Ask them questions about what it was, why was it hard, and how long they waited. Depending on what it was they were waiting for, there may have been some preparation involved. If so, ask them how they prepared. Steer the conversation to how hard it had been for the Israel nation to wait and they had waited a very long time!

Are there some things they can help you do to prepare for the holidays? Can they bake, decorate, shop, or help wrap gifts? Find an activity you can do together as you wait for Christmas. What could you do to add excitement and a sense of expectancy?

With the older grandchildren, you could discuss the ramifications of being an unwed woman in those days compared to now. Discuss how you would have felt if you had been Mary or Joseph, getting a visit from an angel as well as the message given. How would they have responded? Maybe have them journal their thoughts.

If any of your grandchildren have children, ask them who they wanted to tell first that they were pregnant. Discuss who Mary told and why they think she did. Mary wondered at what she heard. Discuss anything that your grandchildren may be wondering about the Christmas account.

“To prepare our hearts for Christmas, we must cultivate the spirit of expectancy.” Handall H. Brown

Week 3 – Proclamation

Scripture: Micah 5:2

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Luke 2:1-20 (v. 10-12)

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’”

Ideas for Older Grandkids:

Luke is a great account to read this Advent season – read a verse a day. If you live at a distance from your grandchildren, you could send it by Marco Polo or even text a verse each day.

This week is all about the wonder and excitement at the proclamation of the angels to the shepherds. Talk about what it means to proclaim something. What are some recent things they have heard proclaimed? Even though this proclamation is over 2000 years old, it is still relevant today. Will what they heard proclaimed still be affecting lives 2000 years from now?

When Jesus was a baby, he could not do a lot, but the day came when he did miraculous things. See how many miracles they can come up with. Can they name some promises that have not yet been fulfilled? Are they waiting with great expectation knowing God will do what He promises? Are they prepared for the fulfillment? 

Upon hearing the great news, the shepherds left immediately to go see Jesus. They rejoiced with great joy, spreading the news to everyone. Remind them that Jesus not only made his family happy but an entire nation and ultimately the entire world. How can they proclaim this great news to the world? Discuss ways they can tell others.

If they like to journal, they could write a thank you poem, letter, or prayer to God. If they like music, they could compose a song. If they like to bake or cook, they could make something, deliver it along with a card, and maybe even sing Christmas carols when they drop it off. Encourage them to think of ways they can be tangible proof that “God is with us.” As believers, we have Christ living inside us, but may it show on the outside, so others know.

“If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” ”  John MacArthur

Week 4 – Presentation

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-2, 11

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Ideas for Older Grandkids:

Discuss why the wise men traveled so far as well as the gifts they brought. As you discuss gift giving, consider ways they can give gifts this season. A crisis pregnancy center is a great option. One church has called it their shower for baby Jesus.

Talk about what it means to adore and worship someone. What are some ways they can adore and worship Jesus? Are there times and places where they feel closer to God’s presence? What can they do to feel closer and how can you help?

Talk about whether Herod had a reason to be concerned and what he did in response to the wise men’s visit. Possible questions to ask are: What do you think would happen today if this event took place? What do you think David Jeremiah means by this statement, “All the Christmas presents in the world are worth nothing without the presence of Christ.” Discuss their answer.

Conclusion:

May these ideas help you as you plan with purpose to use this season to point your grandchildren to Jesus!

If you still want more ideas, consider checking out the 2023 Family Advent Guide from Awana. It covers five weeks and includes Scripture, a story, and discussion questions. Just scroll down their page and fill out the form because the guide comes with their Friday Family Email. Also, check out Camp Grandma Secrets by Roxy Wiley.

More to explore

The Truth Will Set You Free

The weight of a grandparent’s role can be felt immensely. We hold the stories of the past, the wisdom of experience, and a fierce love for the next generation.

Grandparent, Teach Me to Pray (Part 2)

Part 1 of this blog shared four things to keep in mind as you seek to pass prayer on to your grandkids. Here in Part 2, we’ll look at some specific techniques for helping grandchildren learn what to pray for.

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