This year I knew we wanted to celebrate Advent. I wasn’t sure how to do it, what I would plan for each day and to be honest it seemed a bit overwhelming to put it all together. I was so happy when Ann Voskamp, author of A Holy Experience and One Thousand Gifts shared her Jesse Tree Devotional. The timing couldn’t be better!
Update: We still love our Jesse Tree! This year we are adding daily readings from Ann Voskamp’s book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, it is a beautifully written and illustrated addition to our Advent.
I had been at my mother in-laws the night before using her Cricut machine (which I LOVE!). I cut out 31 ornaments to use on, what would be, our Advent tree. When I saw Ann’s book and the artwork for each day I knew I had found an even better plan. I printed out the ornament cut-out pages that were included in Ann’s book and using a scalloped round paper punch, I then glued them to the ornaments that I had cut out the night before.
The images don’t fit the ornaments perfectly, you can still see the black frame around some and even some of the photos were partially cut off. It may not be perfect but I’m happy with the result especially because, unlike previous years, this project actually was completed! I actually have a finished set of ornaments to do the Jesse tree. No excuses this year.
We’ve been reading the daily devotions (which are beautifully written and include the entire daily scripture reading) each night at dinner time and then we’re letting Claire, our oldest put the ornament on a special tree that we have set up in the dining room.
Although I do think that the daily devotions might be a bit too advanced for a 2 and 4 year old to understand, I’m really enjoying spending this time with my husband reading the devotional together. We do give a short, age appropriate overview of the devotional for the kids each night too.
My goal is that by doing this daily our children will pick up on the stories and themes of Christmas that are sprinkled throughout the bible. I hope that doing a Jesse tree will be a tradition that we continue for years to come.
Do you celebrate Advent? Do you do a daily activity each day through Advent? Do you have a Jesse Tree?