There are 22 shopping days until Christmas (as of the posting of this blog). Xmasclock.com even has an official countdown, down to the second, if you’re really curious. And before then, there are presents to buy and wrap, cards to mail, decorating to do, cookies to bake, concerts to attend, parties to plan… Sigh. And all this in only 22 days? It’s enough to make a person want to curl up and hibernate until it’s all over. And in all the shuffle of the month of December, it’s very easy to lose sight of the season of the church year called Advent. Advent is a short season—only four weeks at most. And many of us would love to make Advent more meaningful if only there was time to do it. Well, good news. Here are a few links to activities that require no planning and very little time to incorporate them into your family’s routine:

Advent Activities You Can Do Right Now with Zero Planning
The title pretty much says it all, but this handy article is packed with great ides, from a free downloadable Advent devotional to an Advent/Christmas playlist, to a printable Advent calendar with a Bible verse and discussion question for each day leading up to Christmas.

Printable Advent Chain
Advent chains are one of our own family’s traditions, although I usually make my own. This year I finally got the bright idea to type out the Bible verses and hymn verses I use every year and just print them onto colored pink and purple paper rather than writing it out by hand on construction paper. I mean, seriously, who has time to do all those verses by hand? So here’s a link for a free reproducible Advent chain, with a Bible verse for each day from now until December 25. Print it out, have your kids cut out the boxes, and form them into loops and tape them together. This is a great visual reminder to the kids of how many days are left until Christmas. You can hang it on your tree if it’s up, or loop it across a doorway or china cabinet.

No matter how frantic your December is shaping up to be, make time to pause for a few moments each day and remind yourself of what we’re celebrating in the first place. God sent His Son to this earth as an infant to redeem you from your sins. Let’s remind ourselves of that incredible fact each and every day.

Let the countdown begin!