Oh boy, does anyone else feel the need to throw themselves into the holiday season like never before? Thanksgiving was wonderful and we already have our tree up, but I just feel like we need something else to celebrate this year….so Advent it is! Every year I have big dreams of what we can do to “Keep Christ in Christmas” and every year I fail spectacularly. Yes, we go to mass on each Sunday in Advent, but we rarely celebrate at home. So this year we are spicing things up a little bit and celebrating Advent bigger than ever.
I have always loved the idea of a Jesse Tree. A Jesse Tree is basically a group of symbols celebrating and remembering all of the most important people (mainly in Jesus’ family tree) and the many bible events that lead up to Jesus’ birth. There are many different versions, so I kind of selected the ones that were meaningful to me. I decided to buy a wood ornament set (on sale for $4!) and burn my own images into each one because there was no way I wanted to pay $70+ on one from Etsy. I had fun picking out which symbol to include on each one as well as picking out which verses we will be reading.
I plan on reading the story of Jesus’ birth with my kids and have Ben illustrate each reading. He loves to draw and this sounds like a good way to learn and have a fun keepsake of our family time together.
We have tried to learn a new hymn every week in homeschool, so I think for December we will sing a religious Christmas song each day to keep us in the spirit.
Fun Christmas Bucket list
Every year we make a list of things that we want to do during the holiday season and somethings are perennial favorites. This year, we will be watching several Christmas movies, making gingerbread houses, decorating cookies, going to look at Christmas lights, walking the Decatur Tinsel Trail, and maybe try out a new dessert recipe or two.
Another thing we will be doing new this year is having more Christmas read-a-louds. I plan on reading A Christmas Carol in homeschool each day and then unwrapping a picture book (or movie) to read or watch each day just for fun. **To keep costs down, I plan on borrowing most of the books from the library.
Finally, our family will be participating in the Angel Tree program that our church puts on each year. Every year, I have Emma and Ben pick out one boy and one girl to buy a present for from the Angel cards that our church pins up in the lobby. I think buying for someone less fortunate helps children to think of others during the Christmas season. This year, our youth group got to color, hang, and pray over each Angel our church sponsored, so that was really special.
I know this is an ambitious list, but I think that public accountability always helps me to keep on track with my goals, so why not for Advent as well? Thanks for being my accountability partners!
How are you celebrating the holidays this year?