Monday, December 3, 2012

 Now that it is December I wanted to anticipate our celebration of the birth of Christ with the children.  My Mom gave us a cardstock Advent Calendar with windows to open each day from Dayspring.  .We open and read a window each day at lunch.

She also gave us a devotional made up of advent readings written by the women of her church so we read one of those each day in the morning as we light another candle on our advent candle wreathe.
A closeup of the Mary and Joseph
that our 9 and 11 year old modeled
from clay for the journey to Bethlehem
following the wreath as we light
 the candles each day.

After supper each day we read the Jesse Tree Devotional readings by AnnVoskamp. It is a free download here. I modeled ornaments from clay rather than print her paper ones.  I stretched a ribbon with 25 paper clips tied on at intervals of about 3-4 inches.  Each ornament I made has a paper clip embedded in it that we clip onto the hanging clips. The ornaments could also be hung on a Jesse Tree Branch. Ann's devotionals each start with an Old Testament Scripture reading and then in her beautiful words she points us to the coming Christ as seen in the Biblical passage.  

We're memorizing the Christmas story from Luke 2.  It is familiar but fun to brush up on.  

Of course crafts abound this time of year as the weather isn't as nice outside and the children are pleasantly engaged in making gifts.  

We've also been listening to Pandora Radio online.  You can make your own stations with music you enjoy.  Choose a song and they will play more like it.  We chose Classical Christmas and have been enjoying beautiful pieces of Christmas music throughout the day.  

And for read alouds - I'm planning to read one of our favorites, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.  I also ordered The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever, (A fresh look at Christmas from the view of the children of an unchurched family).  A friend said they read Jotham's Journey every year which has readings for each day from December 1st to Christmas.  If I can get a copy, I'd like to read it even though we will have to double up to catch up or maybe just read it right through.  We also have The Gift, a picture storybook by Jan Haley on our coffee table and have read it once and will probably read it again.  It is the fictional story of one of the wise men and his son.   

What are you doing to anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth?


  1. I love this! The candle wreath is great. Did you make it or buy it somewhere.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Great job on the ornaments! I've never thought of that until now...

    Karen in Kansas City

  3. I just LOVE your clay Jesse Tree ornaments! :) We just finished The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and LOVE it! We laughed so hard! We are ALSO reading A Christmas Carol...a new version illustrated by PJ Lynch! :) We did Jotham's Journey last year and loved it. :) Where does one get the wooden advent candle holder?

  4. The Jesse Tree ornaments really are great--I like them so much better than the felt ones I have seen! Lovely.

  5. I love your clay ornaments, and I've been wanting to get that candle wreath for a while now :-)Thanks also for your ideas about Christmas books to read. You've inspired me to read A Christmas Carol this year, so I've just bought it for my Kindle. Happy Christmas!