DISCLAIMER: Yes, I'm a photographer, no I don't always have my pro, or even P&S camera out. All of these images are iPhone images. Sorry. ;)
After so many years of being sick and tired of "commercialized" Christmas and after feeling helplessly handicap with a lack of conceptual creative juices, I think we have finally found our way of proactively keeping Jesus in Christmas.
Sure, I love the season and the decor in the stores...the music...the Santas everywhere...
I love the Mistletoe Market in our town every year. It gets me in the mood right before Thanksgiving...
I love decorating our home...the smells of the season, etc...
However, I feel like Christ just gets lost in the hustle and bustle of this season that flies by WAY too fast these days.
So, this year, we are being intentional in our CHRISTmas season.
On November 30th, we started working on our Jesse Tree and did day 1. I was very nervous as I wasn't sure if the younger kids would "get" it. A2 got it and A3 liked the ornament! :) A4 just chewed on stuff. But I think just starting the tradition, and continuing it year after year, will help our family keep Christ in the season.
So, my friend Sara sent me to www.aholyexperience.com. If you subscribe to her blog, you can get her free Jesse Tree book and templates. For me this worked the best for now. I'd love to make some felt or homemade ornaments in years to come. But for ease this Christmas and wanting to get started ASAP, print and laminate worked great. I did write the date of the month it was to be used, the scripture and what day of the Jesse Tree it is on the back. Then we punched some holes and ran some raffia and tah-DAH! We have ornaments.
We are using the Thankful Tree we made in November and are just turning it into our Jesse Tree. It's in our entryway and (if I can find it) our Manger Scene will be put up underneath it.
I'll later blog about the other Advent stuff we are doing including "Truth in the Tinsel", an ebook I purchased (thanks for the info Christi!). My plan is to do "Truth in the Tinsel" during our school day and in the mornings and doing our Jesse Tree in the evening as a family.