All month long, I will be sharing new ideas for holiday traditions that will make this Advent even more special and spiritually meaningful.
December can be a cruel month. The holiday concerts, the parties, the end of school events, the never-ending list of things to do. Families are so busy that it’s sometimes hard to focus on what’s really important during the holidays.
For our family, December is one of our WORST months when it comes to scheduling. As a worship leader, Sam is in charge of the bulk of what happens around Christmas at our church, including three Christmas Eve services. This means his schedule is very heavy all month long until Christmas Day. I will be honest: finding time for traditions and spiritual time is a challenge for our family. But no matter how busy we are, it’s important to focus on what really matters during Advent. Here are a list of my priorities this month:
- Worshipping the Savior
- Nurturing my spiritual growth
- Helping the poor, needy, and less fortunate
Besides the Amazing Story of Advent eBook I introduced yesterday (which is available to you all month long on my blog and can be used any Sunday you choose!) I wanted to share with you another Advent tradition in our home.
Family Tradition: The Jesse Tree
We have been doing The Jesse Tree for years and I highly recommend it for Advent. The Jesse Tree is a Bible reading program that takes you from Genesis to the birth of Jesus, highlighting Jesus’ family lineage and the great stories of the Old Testament. Every night during Advent, you read a story from the Bible and then hang an ornament, representing a symbol from the story, on a small branch. You can buy ornaments, print out free downloads, make them out of felt and more. By the time you reach Christmas, you will have finally arrived at the story of Jesus’ birth.
The best book I have read to guide you through The Jesse Tree is Ann Voscamp’s The Greatest Gift. Designed for personal devotions, you can read the scripture passage for each night along with Voscamp’s devotional. Although her original book is designed for adults, she came out with a family version called Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas, one that we are looking forward to using this year.
Stay tuned this month for more giveaways that will make your Advent more spiritually meaningful by signing up to be a subscriber to Poets and Saints on the link at the top of this blog. I promise not to sell your email (I am a nice person after all) and you can unsubscribe at any time.