We have many Advent traditions... We move our family devotions to the evening. We light the candles. We do some reading.
And the week before Advent, Tim and I wrap all of our Christmas books so that we unwrap a couple to read together each day.
And we observe the tradition of the Jesse Tree.
For years we've been using "Jesse Tree Devotions" by Marilyn Breckenridge. We hang the poster somewhere that we can all see it every day, and we've been using the same, laminated leaves since 2009. I had to buy a new poster this year.
And we read one "chapter" of "The Jesse Tree" by Geraldine McCaughrean every night.
And we read one page from "Advent Storybook" by Antonie Schneider.
And the kids get a tiny present. This year, they will receive little bits that on December 24 will build a robot. (But don't tell them!)
First Sunday in Advent
From "Jesse Tree Devotions" by Marilyn S. Breckenridge:
"Thank you, God, for our family. Help us as a family this Advent season to prepare to celebrate Jesus' birthday at Christmas. As we think about his family tree, may we grow to love him more and to love our own family more. Amen."
From "The Jesse Tree" by Geraldine McCaughrean:
"And there was nothing for the carpenter to do by to tell the boy the story behind the carvings of the sun and moon."
From "Advent Storybook" by Antonie Schneider:
"How far is it to Bethlehem," asked Benjamin.
Mother Bear smiled, "24 stories away!"
We read the following books:
"The Spirit of Christmas" by Nancy Tillman
"The Tale of Three Trees" a traditional folktale retold by Angela Elwell Hunt.
I try to start Advent with these two books every year. I love these books. If you have a chance to get a copy or check one out of the library, you'll find yourself reading them over and over again.
I've probably read each book 100 times. Or more. And still, I cried in the reading of them this year.
I love Advent season and all of our traditions. I love the feelings of anticipation and preparation. I love seeing the excitement and reverence in my kids' eyes in the light of the Advent candles and the fireplace. This is, by far, my favorite time of year. And there is an even bigger sense of anticipation this year as we're all hopeful that Isaiah can come home for Christmas.
Our anticipation at spending the holiday with Isaiah is best described by Nancy Tillman in "The Spirit of Christmas,"
And so then, my darling, wherever you roam,
my you always be safe... may you always come home.
For as long as the world still spins and still hums,
wherever you are, and no matter what comes,
the best part of Christmas will always be...
you beneath my Christmas tree.
Have a blessed Advent season.
|A preview from Isaiah's senior pictures session.|
I really can't wait to show you them all.
© 2015 Karin Shirey Henn, all rights reserved.
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