Friday, December 02, 2011

A Season of Advent

A lot has happened since Halloween (my last post), including another entire holiday, but I'm going to skip over all of that for now. I'll go back and highlight Thanksgiving and Eleanor's 2 month check-up, but I'm just not ready to share my feelings about everything else just yet on here, so thank you for understanding.

Christmas this year just isn't at the top of the list for our family, but I was thinking about how to make this a special season for Avery. Last year she was a little too young to understand anything about Christmas, so I didn't start any traditions with her apart from our annual Christmas Eve pajamas. So, this year, we're starting a Jesse Tree. This is a new-to-me concept, having heard about it only in the past couple of years. I didn't grow up with a Jesse Tree, but the idea definitely caught my attention and I mentally bookmarked it as something to start with our children.

The Jesse Tree devotion walks you through the season of Advent, telling of the entire story of Christ, beginning in Genesis and touching on "historical moments that lead to the birth of Christ" (Simple Mom). I'm using this devotional, from Ann Voskamp, but I'm finding it too advanced for a 2 year old. I think it's something we'll have to grow into as a family. I did print out her ornaments and decoupaged them onto inexpensive wooden tags found at Hobby Lobby. I still need to drill the holes in them to thread ribbon through so they become actual ornaments. Right now Avery just props them on the tree, and they move about through the day.

Eventually I'd love to curate a collection of real ornaments for this, built up over time. This is quickly becoming a learning year for us, and hopefully next year we'll have a real system down. I think tomorrow I'll switch to reading the scripture from Avery's storybook Bible, and I want to check out this site - it seems like the devotional is better geared towards children, but I have yet to read through it fully. And Sojourn Kids has adapted the RCA's devotional a bit further, making it ideal for toddlers!

If you want to make your own devotional, here is a listing of the scripture readings and corresponding symbols to put on your Jesse Tree.

I love that there is a practical activity that is to be done each day with Voskamp's devotional. It's a way to act out what we just learned and to help cement it in Avery's mind. I guess over time I'll pick and choose my favorite parts of each of these and formulate my own book to use every year.

How are you celebrating the season of Advent this year? Please share!


Michelle said...

Glad to see you back on here. I hope you can process and share your feelings as you're ready. I'm praying that this season leading to Jesus' birth is filled with hope for you and your family.

Kelly Mann said...

I love you. This is such a sweet idea! Miss you sister!