My passport is not too exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few stamps in it—after all, I do live in a foreign country. But, for the most part, the places stamped are few and not what I would consider exotic—You know—where I have to travel on the back of an elephant, crossing a river, going uphill, and sleeping under the stars eating insects kind of fun!
Most of my traveling, as much as I might complain, is done very modernly—via car, train, or airplane. Only on a few occasions have my travels included boat or parachute 😉
Can’t forget the flying car, too.
BUT—I did travel internationally at 35 going on 36 weeks pregnant with Adelyne via airplane.
I was huge. An elephant had nothing on me. I was uncomfortable. And I was ready to burst.
Yet I hopped on an airplane and went over the ocean, across an entire continent, and landed in Arizona where I later popped out my first baby.
I did not have to have my baby in Arizona—I wanted to. After all, it was my first baby, and I thought it would be really nice to have my first baby close to my family.
But, let me reiterate, I chose to have my first baby in Arizona. Therefore, I chose to travel. And despite my backside being bigger than the coach seat, at least it was not a donkey, right?
Can you imagine traveling while pregnant—via donkey? I can’t. Yet that is most likely how Mary traveled.
Which leads us to Advent Day #2: The Journey!
What you can have out if you so choose:
a world map
a map of a place where you’ve been or traveled to
a passport to look at the countries and stamps
Materials you do need:
Coloring crayons or markers or paint
Or blank paper
Before we get to the Scripture for the Day…
Before we read, as you are gathered as a family, take turns asking and answering the following question:
Where were you born? Where were your parents born? Your grandparents?
Do you know your family’s heritage? Where they came from? Or what family they came from? Do you have any royalty in your family line?
There is a great chance that each member in your immediate family was born in a different place. After all, I have 3 children, and they were all born in different cities or countries. And I know my maternal grandma’s mom was born in Baja territory. So the fun you will all have discovering where you come from will be great. Quite a geography lesson, too!
Once everyone has had a chance to answer (or at least help the little ones answer), you can move on.
Tell your children that you are going to read Scripture today from Luke 1:1-5 and it is going to talk about a LOT of things, so keep their ears sharp for:
Caesar, Census, Roman World, Register, Nazareth, Bethlehem, House of David
Read Luke 1:1-5 (or have one of your children read)
Ask the kids:
Back then, Caesar Augustus was in charge of The Roman World and wanted to take a Census.
Who is in charge of your country? What country is that? Do you know what a Census is?
Explain that Census is something taken to record information of each person in the country/land. For example: How many women live in your country? How many men? How many children live in your home? For fun, you can take a quick family census—and also throw in fun questions like: If you had to choose your favorite color of the rainbow, what would it be—and record the results; favorite ice cream; favorite day of the week—just some silly but fun questions. In fact, one person could be the Census Taker 😉
Ask your children if they are registered somewhere? Tell them that they are! In fact, as soon as they were born, it was one of the first things you had to do for them.
If you have more time, you could have your kids fill out a registration form for you about them or about their pet or their favorite toy. It could include: Name; Date of Birth; Place of Birth; Mother’s Name; Father’s Name; Favorite Color; Eye Color; Hair Color; Favorite Food; What Makes Them Giggle; What Makes Them Scared; Their Favorite Thing To Do…and so forth. Or you could put your family name on a piece of paper at the top and then each member of the family answers the next order—so you’ll have a fun but funny family registration of all of your personalities.
Ask the children what they bring when they travel somewhere (Maybe a special pillow or stuffed animal. Maybe they’ll say clean clothes). Ask “When you travel, do you pack a big bag with too much stuff or a small bag with not very much? Do you ever have to pack food? ”
Let them take turns answering what they would bring.
After you get a few answers out of them, you can produce this sheet and ask them what they believe Mary and Joseph brought with them on their travels: Mary and Joseph’s Traveling Bag
Do this activity sheet together.
Following this activity, ask them the following:
Would you like to travel via donkey?
Do you think it would be safe?
Do you think it would be fun?
Fast travels or slow travels?
Bumpy or smooth travels?
Do you think it would be smelly?
Where do you think they had to park their donkey at night?
Do you think you would get “donkey sick” like people get carsick?
How do you think Mary felt during her travels?
Do you think she had a choice to travel or not to travel?
Do you have a choice when you travel?
Do have a favorite time when you traveled somewhere? What was it?
Then you can end with the following if you choose:
Have your children pray and thank God for their family, and ask God to protect them each and every day as they travel. Thank God that Joseph and Mary were obedient to Caesar’s request to travel for the Census because then what was foretold in the Old Testament and the place of the Messiah’s birth came to fruition (of course, use words for your children’s levels).
After you pray, they can choose one or all of the activities:
Road to Bethlehem Word Unscramble
Road to Bethlehem Coloring Sheet
Or, if you don’t want to do the coloring sheet, you could have blank paper and art materials and fun supplies (or old newspapers or magazines they could use) and everyone could make their favorite place where they have travelled.
After everyone is done, you could share or post them on a nearby window or cabinet for the Season.
Hope you have fun with Day 2—but, don’t feel as if you need to do these back to back. In fact, i will probably only do 3 things a week.
Up next will be SNOW for Advent Day 3. Make sure you come back to have some “Snow Day Fun” with us!