Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Looking Ahead to the Holy Days

This morning I had a question from a young friend on Facebook regarding our family's Advent traditions and I thought I would also share with you.  For many years we have celebrated Advent--the season immediately after Thanksgiving that precedes Christmas.  Advent is a looking ahead to the coming of Christ.  We study many of the prophecies from the Old Testament that tell of the coming Christ.  This is a precious time of study with our children that keeps our hearts in tune with the true meaning of Christmas with much less focus on the busyness that commercialism has added to the season.  It's a time where we stop each evening, sitting around our table with the Advent wreath and candles in the center of us, sing hymns, read Scripture and listen to Daddy read the devotional.  The younger ones eagerly look forward to adding the Jesse Tree ornament to the small table top tree that sits lit-up nearby.  It is a very precious time for us and one that I hope my children will take with them into their own homes when they leave here.

The following is the resource our family has used for several years.  I actually found it in our library's used bookstore at a time when we were studying Christmas traditions in our homeschool.  I thought we would use it that one year, but we have used it for at least ten years now.  It is still available at Amazon and appears to have gone through several printings as I see it in at least two different colors.  I printed off Jesse Tree ornaments from another site (I have no idea where) and they work with this book pretty well.

Ann Voskamp is a new Christian author and a homeschooling blogging mom and has a Jesse Tree Advent Devotional Book with  printouts for ornaments available at the link below.  You can look at each of these links to read pages of the actual books to find what would suit your family best.

I really think that our Christmases are so much more meaningful since we added in our nightly Advent devotionals and worship time.  I hope this little post encourages you to look at these products and consider adding them to your family worship during the upcoming holiday season.


Michelle said...

We have been doing a Jesse tree for years, also. We found Ann Voskamp's book last year and ejoyed incorporating it into our daily routine. I agree that it really does add something special to our celebration, and my children always look forward to it.

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing! This will be our third year of celebrating Advent, and it certainly has been a blessing. Last year my son's teacher told how he had the kids share about their favorite family Christmas tradition, and he was delighted to hear that our son's was lighting the candles on the Advent wreath. We'll have to add the Jesse tree this year!

Kimmy said...

Love Ann! Always wanted to start this! I believe this is the year we will. Found you on Far above Rubies! I see we have a lot in common!

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