Christ-Centered Advent Gifts

6

July 30, 2013 by FHElessons

When my first child was born, I had the brilliant idea to make her an advent Christmas stocking.  I reasoned that she would enjoy choosing a little gift each day leading up to Christmas and that when she was little I could put in toys and candy and when she was older maybe a piece of jewelry or some make-up.  Unfortunately, at the time that I made this stocking, I didn’t seem to realize how expensive this tradition could get or how much work it would add to my Christmas preparations.  But now that my daughter is grown she tells me that the advent stockings are one of her favorite traditions and one that she plans to carry on with her own children.  In case you are interested, here are the stockings I made for each of my kids:

 

Christmas advent stockings

 

The stocking on the left belongs to my oldest daughter.  At the time that I made it, we were in school and couldn’t afford the quilted fabric that I wanted to get.  I bought the cheapest Christmas fabric I could find and quilted it myself.  Her stocking has 24 pockets on the front of it, each one for holding a small advent gift.  As my other children arrived, I started to get a little more creative.  I used the quilted fabric that I had wanted to get for the first stocking, and the pockets became more elaborate.  My second child’s stocking is a Christmas tree.  The pockets make up the ornaments on the tree, the gifts underneath, and some stars above.  The third stocking is a nativity scene, and each person, animal, angel, and even the stable itself is a pocket.  Lastly, is the sleigh holding presents.  The reindeer’s body and head are pockets, but his antlers are covered with hooks from which presents can hang.  The sleigh, the presents, the snowman, and the runner are all pockets.

I suspect that many of you also have a Christmas tradition involving some sort of advent gifts, so I thought I would share with you what I did for my kids for Christmas last year. I wanted to make the advent countdown more centered on Christ, so I decided to find 24 scriptures that teach something about Christ.  I chose to focus on the different names that Christ bears, so each scripture that I chose mentions one of His names.  I coordinated each gift with the scripture for that day.  I tried to find something that would represent the name of Christ, and if I couldn’t find that, then I chose a gift that went with a part of the scripture.

I printed out the scriptures and cut them into paper strips and then tucked the gift and the matching scripture into an advent pocket together.  I didn’t specify an order for the scriptures and gifts to be chosen – the kids could pick them in any order they chose.  If you would like to use my same scriptures for your advent this Christmas, you can download them HERE.

I was limited on my choice of gifts by what I could fit in the pockets, what I thought my kids would like, and by what I could find in the time I had to prepare.  If your advent tradition allows you to give larger gifts or if you have more time to prepare than I did, you may be able to find better gifts to go along with the scriptures.  But, just in case you need some ideas, here are the gifts I chose to go along with the scriptures:

 

Names of Christ Advent Christmas Gifts

(first set)

first 15 gifts in a christ centered christmas advent

 

The gifts match up to these names, each of which refers to Jesus Christ:

1. Messiah

And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:26 – 27 in the Book of Mormon)

For my gift to go along with this one, I used a keychain that was a model of mini handcuffs.  Because of Christ’s Redemption of us, we are no longer bound (like handcuffs bind) but are now free.  We are free to choose captivity or to choose liberty and Eternal Life.

2. Advocate / Propitiation for our Sins

MY little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. (1 John 2:1 – 3)

I used a little heart magnet clip for the gift for advocate.  Because Christ loves us, He advocates for us.  When He chose to be the propitiation for the sins of the world, it was the ultimate act of love.

3. Light of the World

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

I used some little finger lights to represent the Light of the World, but you could use a small flashlight, a lighted keychain, a laser pointer, or any form of light.

4. Firstfruits

Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved. (2 Nephi 2:8 – 9 in the Book of Mormon)

I also included the following note with the above scripture: “FYI, the Ancient Israelites were commanded to sacrifice the first and best of their flock and their harvest. The name they gave this was their ‘firstfruits’. So Jesus is the Firstfruits, not only because He was the first to be resurrected, paving the way for us, but because He is the first born son, because He is the best of all, and because He gave Himself for a sacrifice.”

For Firstfruits, I chose a play on the “fruit” part of the word and gave Juicy Fruit gum.  You could also do any kind of fruity candy or even real fruit.

5. Alpha and Omega

THUS saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I AM, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made; The same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes; I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me. I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom; and verily, I say, even as many as have believed in my name, for I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father for them. (Doctrine & Covenants 38:1 – 4)

To my girls I gave rings to represent Alpha and Omega since rings have no beginning or end and thus symbolize eternity.  I couldn’t find any manly looking rings, so I gave my boys some little wind-up robot toys.  I reasoned that there is a beginning and an end to watching the robot perform.

6. Lamb of God

Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. (Alma 7:14 in the Book of Mormon)

Do you know how hard it is to find anything shaped like a lamb at Christmas time?  I finally settled on some buttons that were little lambs, but this year at Easter I bought some lamb shaped chocolates (made by Lindt) and put them in my freezer for next Christmas.  I guess if you had room for bigger gifts, you could use a stuffed lamb, or maybe you could find some little plastic lambs.

7.  Redeemer

The Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken–hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound (Doctrine & Covenants 138:42)

Before I thought up the Names of Jesus idea, I had purchased some mini scissors to use as advent gifts.  I decided to use them for Redeemer since the scripture mentions Christ opening the prison for the bound and giving liberty to the captives.  The scissors can represent cutting the prison bonds.

8.  Creator

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:28 – 29)

I also thought it would be easy to find something in the shape of the Earth to represent Creator, but I had trouble finding anything.  In the end, I just bought some toy tops that looked something like the Earth.

9. Man of Sorrows

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3 – 5)

I gave both some colorful bandaids and a tube of chapstick for this one to remind the kids of the wounds that Christ suffered for our sakes and to remind them that because Christ suffered, we can be healed of our own transgressions and sorrows.

10. Word / Messenger of Salvation

Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation— The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men. The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him. (Doctrine & Covenants 93:8 – 10)

Because Christ is called the “Word”, I used a Christmas ornament that was an actual word.  Pictured is the ornament that spells Peace.

11. Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (John 10:11 – 14)

I used a candy cane to represent the Good Shepherd since it looks something like a shepherd’s crook.

12. Faithful and True

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11 – 16)

I had some trouble finding something to go along with this one, but in the end I went with Warheads candy.  If you read the scripture it talks about Christ making war in righteousness.

13. Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

The heart magnet clip that I used above came in a 2-pack, and the second clip had a peace sign on it.  I used it to go with the Prince of Peace.  Since this scripture lists several names of Christ, you could coordinate your gift with any of the names.

14. Lord of Lords / King of Kings

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)

To represent the King of Kings, I bought some necklace charms in the shape of crowns and strung them onto necklaces.  I tried to make them masculine enough for the boys by using black cord instead of a chain.

15. Deliverer

And the saints rejoiced in their redemption, and bowed the knee and acknowledged the Son of God as their Redeemer and Deliverer from death and the chains of hell. Their countenances shone, and the radiance from the presence of the Lord rested upon them, and they sang praises unto his holy name. (Doctrine & Covenants 138:23 – 24)

Lifesavers candy could have worked for several of the Names of Christ, but I paired them with Deliverer.  Christ saves our lives both physically and spiritually when He delivers us from physical death through His Resurrection and from spiritual death through His Atonement.

 

Names of Christ Advent Christmas Gifts

(second set)

last set of gifts for a Christ centered Christmas advent

16. Emmanuel

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

Another Christmas tradition we have is to give our kids a new Christmas tree ornament each year.  I always make their ornament part of their advent gifts.  This year I chose an ornament that pictured baby Jesus for the scripture that talks about Him coming to Earth as a baby and being called Emmanuel.

17. Holy One of Israel

And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved. (Omni 1:26 in the Book of Mormon)

This is another one that I had a hard time with, so I went with a Toblerone bar.  I know it’s a stretch, but Toblerone has the word ONE in it, and it is a candy that my kids really like.

18. True Vine

I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:1 – 5)

Red vines candy are a play on the word “vine” in the True Vine, and I was lucky enough to find some in the Halloween candy clearance aisle.  You could also do anything grape flavored or shaped.

19. Chief Cornerstone

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Ephesians 2:19 – 20)

To play on the word “stone” in Chief Cornerstone, you could use Pop Rocks, a jeweled ring (a “rock”), something with a rock & roll theme, or any rock shaped candy (like those chocolates shaped like coal).  I went with chocolate rocks from the Winco bulk bins and put them into a little plastic container to keep them together.

20. Son of Man

But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26 – 28)

Because this scripture speaks about Christ giving His life as a ransom, I tucked a dollar bill into the pocket as a gift.  You could also use chocolate coins, which are easy to find at Christmas time.

21.  Great I Am

LISTEN to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I AM, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins; Who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer. (Doctrine & Covenants 29:1 – 2)

Since this scripture begins with the word “listen”, I gave the kids a new pair of headphones.  You could also do something relating to chickens or other birds with wings, or you could give a little bag of pretzels since they were invented to symbolize arms folded in prayer.

22. Bread of Life

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)

I used a little pack of breadsticks and cheese to represent the Bread of Life.  If you had room for a larger gift, you could use any form of bread, or you could give a coupon to Great Harvest or other bakery or even a coupon for a loaf of homemade bread from you.  For a child that lives on her own, maybe a little packet of yeast and a bread recipe?

23. Only Begotten Son

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

For this one, I made a mixed CD of Christmas carols that all focus on the Savior.  Obviously, this wouldn’t fit in the tiny pockets on the stockings, so I folded the CD insert to slip into the pocket and just put the CD inside the stocking itself.

24. Son of the Blessed

Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Mark 14:61 – 62)

Here’s another one that was difficult to match with a gift.  In the end, I thought cotton candy reminded me of clouds, which are mentioned in the scripture.  Since the bag of cotton candy wouldn’t fit in the pocket, I attached it to a card so that it could hang from the pocket.

 

Christ centered advent stockings

I hope that reading these scriptures each day during December helped remind my children about the true reason for the season.  I hope that learning all the different names of Christ and reading the scriptures which teach different aspects of His character and purpose taught my children some new concepts and helped them come to know Him better.  I love all these scriptures, and I am so grateful for Jesus who condescended to come down into the world as a baby, to live a perfect life, and to sacrifice Himself so that we might live with our Heavenly Father again.

If you would like to make your Christmas more Christ-centered this year, please feel free to print out the scriptures that I used HERE and pair them with your own gifts.chrsit centered advent gifts

I am looking forward to choosing another 24 scriptures to use for my advent gifts this year.  Since one son is currently serving a mission, I will wrap his gifts in little boxes and mail them to him.  For my other children who are college-aged, I usually send their stockings with them at Thanksgiving, and they bring them back when they come for Christmas.  I hope to be able to teach my children more about Christ this Christmas and keep Him at the forefront of their minds throughout the season as they open their advent gifts each day.  Merry Christmas (in July) to all!

Update (Oct 2013):  My advent scriptures for this year teach about gifts that God has given to us.  For adorable printables of these scriptures, check out 25 Gifts Christ Gives to Us.

6 thoughts on “Christ-Centered Advent Gifts

  1. Dezi A says:

    This is fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. […] You can find the scriptures and treasures at FHElessons.wordpress.com […]

  3. hereinak says:

    What a wonderful idea and great work on the stockings! I hope you don’t mind if I use the scriptures you put together to make an Advent book as a gift for my kiddos’ Sunday school teachers! I have always loved hearing the different names of Jesus!

  4. Esther says:

    I love it!!! as a Young Women leader, I was looking for something just like this to get the Giles to focus on Christ. thank you! I am so excited.

  5. Emmalee says:

    Thank you so much!! I have been searching Pinterest for hours looking for something exactly like this. We are going to do 12 days of Christmas with it!

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Hi! I'm Laura. I started this blog to continue to teach FHE lessons to my children who are grown and living away from home. I also hope to serve my six sisters by preparing FHE lessons that they can use with their younger children, and I hope the lessons will be helpful to you as well! If you would like to contact me, please e-mail me at FHElessons@aol.com.

What is FHE?

FHE stands for Family Home Evening and is a night set aside each week (usually Monday) by families who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FHE is a chance for parents to teach lessons to their children about the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as other important topics. The lesson is frequently accompanied by a fun activity together as a family and a yummy treat.
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