We use the season of Advent to celebrate Christmas at our house, to focus on Jesus during the month, but I know many of you aren’t familiar with Advent so I made a “non-Adventy” Christmas Bingo Game for you!
I’m not opposed to all things Christmassy– in fact, Christmas is my favorite holiday (month.) We’ve just grown to love Advent so much because of what it adds to our celebration. It’s important to me that we don’t lose focus or get caught up in the shiny wrapping of Christmastime.
There are plenty of worldly traditions that we don’t participate in (such as pictures with Santa,) but there are also a lot of Christmas traditions that we do enjoy. We watch many Christmas movies, though we were more selective when the kids were younger. We love to look at Christmas lights, decorate, attend parties, give gifts, and all the rest.
Even though we don’t know the exact date of Jesus’ birth, and it likely wasn’t anywhere near the month of December, it’s good to have a time of remembrance and celebration for this world-changing, life-altering, amazing gift that God gave us.
So if you’re like me, and you want to focus more on doing things together and less on stuff, while celebrating Jesus’ birth, then you’ll enjoy Christmas Bingo. You “play” this game of bingo by doing things together as a family and marking them off your family bingo card, trying to make as many bingos as possible before Christmas. Your ultimate goal, of course, is a total bingo blackout.
On the other hand, older kids might enjoy having individual cards and “competing” against each other. You still play the same way, doing things together as a family, but everyone has a different card. And of course, younger kids might just want to play a game of bingo, so I have that, too.
All of the traditions and experiences listed in the bingo game are free or very expensive, and relatively easy, because it would defeat the purpose to set lofty, difficult, or expensive goals. Our kids don’t need a bunch of holiday clutter and complications. Our kids need the simple joys of family time, helping others, and celebrating Jesus. That’s what we all need the most.
When making these bingo games, I asked my kids about their favorite traditions, the things they wanted to make sure didn’t get left out, what they were looking forward to most. I was surprised by some of their answers. I didn’t know they missed reading Christmas stories together, even now that they are older.
Surprisingly, I discovered that my 13 year old doesn’t remember doing a paper chain countdown before–even though I know we only stopped doing that about six year ago! Furthermore, I didn’t expect him to enjoy making one so much, or even be interested. I thought a 13 year old boy to be “too old” for that kind of tradition. It just proves that you don’t know until you ask. And also, it makes me happy to offer you a FREE printable download of my “Names of Jesus” Christmas Countdown Chain. (The countdown begins December 10!)
I hope this bingo game helps you start a similar conversation with your kids. Maybe the things that matter the most to them will surprise you, too. Maybe you’ll rediscover some old traditions left behind, or maybe you’ll discover some new ones together.
What are YOUR favorite Christmas traditions?
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