Anything great needs to be prepared for, including Christmas. Traditionally, the weeks leading up to Christmas day have been known as Advent, a time for Christ-followers to get their hearts ready to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. If we don’t intentionally make time to prepare our hearts and minds to reflect and respond to what God wants to do in our lives, we risk missing out on the full joy of the season.
My family has used an advent calendar for many years to have a moment each day growing together and building up our anticipation for Christmas. This has helped us lead our family beyond just the surface of getting Christmas presents. So this year, I’ve put together a brief daily reading and verse that you can use with your family and whatever advent-type calendar you choose. It could be as simple as a chain of red and green paper that you tear off each day leading to Christmas. I hope you will have the most meaningful Christmas this year and that this Countdown to Christmas will help you have a Merry Christmas.
You can download a free PDF of the 24 Devos here: Countdown to Christmas
COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
24 Days to Go! – December 1
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. Isaiah 9:6a
The first Christmas present wasn’t given to Jesus. He was the first Christmas present! Unwrap the gift of Jesus by trusting and following Jesus today.
23 Days to Go! – December 2
The government will rest on his shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6b
The titles given to Jesus each meet an important need of our lives. Jesus brings wonder, direction, strength, relationship, and peace.
22 Days to Go! – December 3
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). Isaiah 7:14
Immanuel means “God with Us.” The baby in the manger is the same God who is with you today. Choose to live today with an awareness of God’s presence with you everywhere you go. Remember that you are never alone. God is with you.
21 Days to Go! – December 4
Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Psalm 96:11
Everything God has made can worship Him. Let’s join with creation today and bring God glory with our lives!
20 Days to Go! – December 5
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14
If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. If people want to know what Jesus is like, they should be able to look at His followers. Let’s let them see Jesus in us today.
19 Days to Go! – December 6
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. Luke 1:31
God can do anything! Hope isn’t a daydream or a passing whim. Hope is a sure thing that comes from a God who loves to surprise us with good gifts.
18 Days to Go! – December 7
Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” Luke 1:46-47
You’ve got soul! That’s the part of you that lasts forever. When we live soulish lives, we see that everyone was made for eternity and needs to know about Jesus. Glorify God from your soul today!
17 Days to Go! – December 8
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
If our greatest need was information, God would have sent a teacher. If it was technology, God would have sent a scientist. If it was money, a banker. If it was pleasure, a celebrity. But our greatest need is forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
16 Days to Go! – December 9
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. Luke 2:1
We count people because people count. Every number has a name. Every name has a story. Every story matters to God!
15 Days to Go! – December 10
And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. Luke 2:4
Did you know Bethlehem means “House of Bread” and Jesus said He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35)? Jesus is our source of strength and spiritual sustenance. Don’t be malnourished today. Receive the Bread of Life.
14 Days to Go! – December 11
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. Luke 2:6
Jesus was born at the exact right moment in history! God is never early or late. He is right on time. Trust in God’s perfect timing today. He always delivers! 🎁
13 Days to Go! – December 12
She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. Luke 2:7
The first Christmas gift wasn’t put under a tree 🎄, but wrapped up and placed in a food trough. It’s easy for our lives to be so full that there is no room for Jesus. We push Him away for lesser things. Choose to say no to unimportant things to make room today for what’s most important: Jesus.
12 Days to Go! – December 13
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Luke 2:8
It was a dirty job that someone had to do, but little did the shepherds know, they would have a front row seat to a light show and the greatest event in history. Faithfulness pays off! No matter what you’re doing or how dark it seems, God sees you!
11 Days to Go! – December 14
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, Luke 2:9
When God had a message, He usually sent a prophet, but when it came time to announce the birth of Jesus, He sent an angel! Angels were created to worship God, to serve Him, and to be His messengers—and so are we!
10 Days to Go! – December 15
But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” Luke 2:10
Joy isn’t a feeling. Joy is a Person: Jesus. Christmas is God’s megaphone that shouts JOY to the World! The Good News of Jesus is for everyone. That includes YOU and everyone you see today!
9 Days to Go! – December 16
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! Luke 2:11
Who was Jesus born for? He was born for you. Don’t let the best Christmas gift, the gift of knowing Jesus, go unopened. The gift of Jesus is for you. Open your gift today.
8 Days to Go! – December 17
“And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Jesus is God’s sign to the world saying, “I love you. Your life matters to me.” Look for the signs around you today of God’s promises. When you see a sign, give thanks to God for reminding you of His unfailing promises.
7 Days to Go! – December 18
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14
In the middle of conflict, Jesus came to bring peace. Bring glory to God with your life and experience the peace that comes from Jesus.
6 Days to Go! – December 19
After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. Luke 2:17
The shepherds didn’t keep the Good News of Jesus to themselves. They made sure everyone heard the Good News by talking it up to everyone they met. Ask God for boldness to “tell everyone” about what Jesus has done in your life and what He can do in their life too.
5 Days to Go! – December 20
All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, Luke 2:18
People are more eager to hear the Good News than we are to tell them. Do you want to blow someone’s mind today. Tell them what Jesus has done for you and what He can do for them too. You can even invite them to church for Christmas!
4 Days to Go! – December 21
But Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. Luke 2:19
Because God had done so many great things for Mary, she trusted God with her future. When you find yourself doubting today, remember how good God has been to you. His faithfulness in the past is an assurance of how faithful He will be in the future.
3 Days to Go! – December 22
The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:20
God is as good as His word. When He says it, you can count on it happening. That’s a great reason to thank God today!
2 Days to Go! – December 23
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! Matthew 2:10
The star was proof that God’s message is true. When you see what God is doing around you, you will know the Joy that comes from Jesus. Ask God to help you see the great things that He is doing around you today and respond with joy.
1 Day to Go! – December 24
“I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Luke 2:30-32
Imagine a time before Jesus arrived on the scene. It must have been a very dark world. But God promised to send a Savior! If you feel hopeless, as if things can’t change, remember, with God, there is always hope. Hold on to that hope today.
Christmas Day! – December 25
I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. John 12:46
Merry Christmas! The day is finally here! Not many gifts defy description, but the gift of the baby Jesus in the manger is so big that it changed the world and all of eternity. Thank God today for the best gift of all: Jesus!