If I had to choose a favorite month out of all the year, it would be December. I absolutely positively love the season of Advent.
Do you know what Advent is, my friend? I’ve had an Advent calendar all my life, and it was only in the last 6 years that I learned what it’s really about.
I’m not afraid to admit I thought it was about waiting for presents.
Um, no. That’s not it at all.
Advent is the celebration of the coming of Jesus. It starts this year on December 2, but in my family, we usually start the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Each night of Advent, we read a short Bible story, sing a song, light a candle, say a prayer, and hang an ornament on our Jesse Tree. The whole process takes less than ten minutes, but it puts Jesus squarely in the middle of our December. I look forward to our nightly devotions more than I look forward to presents.
That’s something I never thought I’d say.
We started our Jesse Tree tradition in 2009, and I have learned so much of the Bible through the simple nightly ritual.
There are many different Jesse Tree devotionals available, but finding none written for the preschool crowd, I wrote my own. You can download it for free on my personal blog.
In my ebook, each day includes a theme (for discussing with your kids), a central character from the lineage of Jesus, a Bible verse, a Bible reading (I give other suggestions in the book, but this year, we’re using my daughter’s pink sequined Bible. It’s a kids’ version of the actual Bible rather than re-written stories.), a song, and a prayer.
Don’t let making ornaments stop you from beginning this awesome tradition. My ebook includes 28 images you can print and hang on your tree, one for each of the devotions. I have also included suggestions for making more involved ornaments, ranging from line drawings your kids can color to the fancy felt ornaments I made three years ago.
Could you make a Jesse Tree work for your family?
Tara Ziegmont is a professional blogger, blog coach, and SEO specialist. She created an internationally-syndicated, award-winning blog called Feels Like Home in 2007 and continues to publish it today. Tara homeschools the older of her two crazy children and lives an old-school back-to-basics frugal lifestyle while working full-time from home.