Advent. I have been waiting anxiously for this season all year. Last year, the boys were too young to really understand everything that was going on. So, all through last year’s season and all through the rest of the year, I planned…and dreamed…and planned some more. As soon as I read about the Jesse tree, I knew that was one tradition that I wanted to start in our family. The Jesse tree devotional written by Ann of A Holy Experience has to be the most beautiful one I have seen! But after reading through, it seems a little weighty for my boys, and I think I will have to tuck it away for another year.
Inspired by Amanda, at Impress Your Kids, I decided to take the story of the birth of Jesus and teach my little ones a different aspect every day. I am using the outline that Amanda posted on her site for Advent a couple years back, and I have tweaked it to work for us with Bible stories, crafts and activities every day. So far, we all have loved it & look forward to the next day’s festivities.
To give you an idea, each morning the boys run to our big box advent calendar. In each box , I have put a verse that relates to the part of the story we are going to work on that day and a little treat for both of the boys (a sticker, a fun shaped eraser). We decided to do it this way this year, but for next year, I think that we will write down fun Christmas activities to do together on that day. After our calendar, I talk a little bit about the verse and we either do a craft or activity that pertains to our topic. At night, as part of our bedtime routine, we light a candle in our beyond-amazing-I-don’t-know-if-I-could-love-it-anymore advent wreath. Ann’s very talented son, Caleb, at Holy Experience, made it and sent it our way this year! (Can you tell that I am excited?!)
Then we sing a couple of Christmas songs that we are learning, and snuggle on the couch to listen to Daddy read from the Jesus Storybook Bible.
Day 1: Jesus as Light of the World: Isaiah 9:2 — We made a cute, tissue paper candle jar & looked for toys in the dark with flashlights! JSB: The Light of the Whole World (p184)
Day 2: Jesus as King: Isaiah 9:6– We talked about how Jesus is our King, even though He wasn’t born in a palace, but a lowly stable with donkeys and cows. (The boys couldn’t get over how stinky it must have been!) We made yellow foam crowns, and when we prayed at lunch time, Landon told Jesus he hoped He liked the crowns they made for Him– talk about precious to a mama’s heart) JSB: The King of All Kings (p192)
Day 3: Jesus’ Family Tree: Matthew 1 — We painted trees with our watercolors & talked about our own family tree (Pop, Nana, etc) & who is in Jesus’ tree. JSB: (p14 &15)
Day 4: Zechariah: Luke 1:5-25– Mama was out shopping and missed our craft/activity, but we were going to do something like the one over at Impress Your Kids. JSB: Heaven Breaks Through (p200 – but we only read the first part)
Day 5: Gabriel: Luke 1:26-38— We made angels out of paper towel rolls, yarn, paper towels & tin foil (contents completely from my kitchen!) I was excited at how adorable they turned out, and the boys spent the rest of the afternoon “flying” their angels and telling each other not to be afraid. Cute picture when I figure out what is wrong with my computer! JSB: He’s Here (p176)
Do you do anything special to celebrate Advent? I would love to hear about it.