30 November, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Advent starts today, the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The boys really haven't been old enought before to do anything too involved, but this year they are ready. We are going to innitiate two traditions, both advent things, both which celebrate family, gathering together, and what we are waiting expectantly for which is the celebration of Jesus' birth, Christmas.

Jesse Tree:

We are going to do the Jesse Tree which is a daily devotional time spent together learning about the specific incidents in the Old Testament which lead up to the Birth of Christ. Here is a definition I found at disciples now:

An ancient tradition of visually representing Jesus' family tree used by generations to prepare for Christmas. Based on the prophet Isaiah's references to the "root" and the "branches" of Jesse (King David's father) when Isaiah prophesied about the hope of the Messiah, the Jesse Tree reminds us that God’s plan has been forever and that we are a part of it.
Each day you read through the verses, and then hang one symbolic ornaments on the Jesse Tree. We started today.

4th Sunday before Christmas:
Persons, Events/Themes: Introduction to the Jesse Tree
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13, Isaiah 11: 1-10
Symbol/Ornament: The tree

Additional Resources:
The Jesse Tree: Celebration of Advent

Bungaree Advent Calendar :

The second tradition we are going to do is we have an advent calendar that starts on the first of December marking the days up until Christmas. I know that kids can be excited about many more things than material gifts, but we can soon make them calloused to our gifts of time, energy and togetherness. This is a season to celebrate Christ, but we also would enjoy celebrating the gift that we have of spending time together. Each day we will choose a new thing to do together here are some of the (age appropriate) things I have come up with:

*make cookies for some friends and deliver
*play a game together
*listen to Christmas music while eating popcorn
*drive around looking at Christmas lights
*make a gift together for someone
*watch a good Christmas movie
*go to a coffee shop for a special hot drink
*read the Christmas story together by the tree
*make cut-out snowflakes for the windows

Do you have any special holiday memories? Do you have a tradition that you look forward to every Christmas season? Do you have any more ideas for things to do with our almost-5 and almost-3 year olds? Oh, do share!!


Ellyn Canfield said...

SO cute. I love this. I can't wait to do stuff like this one day.

Here are my ideas:
-decorate Christmas cookies/gingerbread house (is that on there?)

-Find a Salvation Army bell ringer and donate change (I used to always love to do this)

-During Dec. 18-24: Go on a fun date with Aunt Ellyn and Uncle Andrew

-Make Christmas tree ornaments (bead strings maybe)

Um, can you tell I am bored of writing my paper?
haha. love you!

bethany said...

e- those are excellent additions!!! :) Thank you!

holly said...

love these ideas! I'm feeling so behind already with making plans for the season. but today I made an "advent chain" counting down to Christmas. on each day, we'll read different scripture verses that tell the story of the Savior's birth. We also have a picture to go along with each verse. (Isaiah's prophecy, shepherd, the manger, etc).

another fun idea is having an empty manger by your tree and when you do nice things for others you get to add straw so that by Christmas, Baby Jesus has a nice soft bed. I haven't done this one yet, but I really like the idea!

bethany said...

holly- that is a great idea for sure! thanks for sharing it!:) Kids love this season, so much fun stuff to do during it.