Monday, December 1, 2014

Jesse Tree

The idea of having a Jesse Tree during the month of December is a fairly new one to me.  Last year we created our first Jesse Tree by taking a branch from our yard, sticking it in a vase, and hanging an ornament on it each night as we read a passage of Scripture together.  The Jesse Tree is a way to trace the lineage of Jesus.  A family tree.  Our family tree.

Shane made us a new tree for this year complete with a hand-made star on top.  Last year I read The Greatest Gift during Advent and we used the free printable paper ornaments (from the book) for our tree.

I hang the paper ornaments in the kitchen and each night we count down the days until we celebrate the birth of Christ.  Celebrating Advent builds a special anticipation towards Christmas.  Even though this will only be our second year to celebrate Advent, I can't imagine a Christmas season without it.

This link will give you a list of verses to read each evening, along with ideas on how to celebrate Advent, if you are looking for a place to start.

Can you tell her hair is fuzzy in this picture?  Love.  "Happy Advent everyone!"
If you have school aged children, I highly recommend the Jotham's Journey trilogy.  Our family ate this up last year.

Tonight we begin the second book in the triology, Bartholomew's Passage.  Everything in me wants to start Ann Voskamp's new kids Advent book, but I'm trying to exercise self-control and not go into Advent overload. 

Even if you haven't planned anything formal for Advent, I'd highly recommend doing something each evening!  It is not too late.  Light a candle and read a passage together as a family.  Again, this link is a good resource for verses to read each night.

The whole point of Advent is to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

A few candle-lit minutes spent reading scripture each evening reaps huge benefits.

p.s. I use all white candles in my Advent wreath.

p.s.s. I found my Advent wreath a few years ago at Hobby Lobby.  It's just a small non-Adventish wreath that I thought was pretty.  Don't be afraid to put your spin on celebrating.  In my opinion, there is no right or wrong way.  The heart of it is to point our hearts toward Jesus, so He can remain our focus.