Happy New Year!
If you woke up this morning and realized you haven’t yet accomplished that glorious Advent calendar you pinned for the kids this year, don’t worry! I have a simple Advent chain for you that you can print out and put together today. You’ll still be right on track with Advent, and for a bonus, instead of feeding them candy with this Advent calendar you’ll be introducing the daily Gospel readings into your Advent preparations. Perfect!
There are a lot of Advent chains available to print for free but I wanted a way to help us prepare our hearts for Christmas, not just count down the days until the tree filled up with presents. So I gathered the daily Bible readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops web site and printed a little excerpt of each day’s Gospel reading on the chain, along with the date and the reference to look up the full reading. Of course you could just take a link off the chain each day and read the little excerpt, but it will only take a minute and be so much more helpful for your kids if you keep a Bible nearby and read the entire Gospel message with them.
Free Printable Advent Chain with Gospel Readings
1. Choose which PDF file to print. The strips in the “small” file are fairly narrow because I was printing this for a class of 20 kids and wanted to keep the first 24 strips on only two pages. The strips in the “large” file are wider and leave more room for error when cutting. If you are only printing one and would like your child to be able to help with cutting the strips, the larger one is probably better for you. You can print the whole file on white paper and have your kids color the backs of the pages with Dec 1 through Dec 24 on them, or you can print those strips on purple or rose colored paper (2 pages in the small file, or 3 pages in the large file).
2. If you printed on white paper, have your kids color and/or decorate the backs of the first two pages (small file) or three pages (large file) for Dec 1 through Dec 24.
3. Cut all the strips along the black lines.
4. Starting with Dec 1, make a loop from the strip and secure with glue, tape, or stapler. Continue with Dec 2 and on, looping each strip through the previous loop before securing to make a paper chain from Dec 1 through Dec 25.
5. I included a 25th strip on the last page, which I printed on white paper, so we would have a final reading for Christmas morning.
6. Each day, remove the link for that day from the chain and read the Gospel passage with your kids.
This is a no-fuss craft that could have a big impact on your family’s preparations for Christmas. If you’ve been wanting to add daily prayer or Bible readings to your routine, this is a great time to start!