When we think of preparing for Christmas our thoughts often go to a to-do list that includes buying and trimming a tree, decorating the house, dusting off the snow suits, Christmas shopping in Walnut Creek, church candle light service, baking and eating dozens of cookies and many other activities that are all a part of the Christmas season.

But there is another kind of preparation for Christmas that often gets lost in the shuffle of activity: spiritual preparation. The most important preparation we can make is in our hearts, and its this preparation that has the power to transform Christmas from a flurry of anxious activity into a rich and joyful celebration of God’s love.

Here are some Advent Guides that can help you and your family get the most out of Christmas:

Jesus Storybook Bible

The Jesus Storybook Bible is a favorite resource for young families. This free advent reading plan provides illustrations and daily readings for Dec. 1-24.

A Guide For Advent: The Arrival of King Jesus

Several Soma pastors have contributed to this resource from Gospel Centered Discipleship. The Kindle version is on sale for 99 cents the week before Black Friday.

12 Advent Devotionals from Soma

Last year Soma Community Church (formerly Soma San Ramon Valley) wrote 12 family devotionals for the season. Twenty-four family devotions might not be realistic for your family, but twelve feels do-able. Along with this free guide is a Spotify Christmas Playlist for you to enjoy.

Advent Wreath Guide

Lighting the candles of an Advent Wreath can be a special time of preparing your family for Christmas. This free resource is a guide for preparing your hearts the four Sundays before Christmas and then celebrating together Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Do you have a favorite Advent Guide? Share it in the comments below.