I have been praying through many things lately, but one at the forefront of my list is keeping Christmas intentional with my family. I've been searching for the proper balance between tradition and truth.
There are so many messages that come at us during this season that can easily take our focus off of Who the season is truly about. Every direction I turn I see commercialism, worldliness, and shiny new things vying for our attention.
Last year, I tried to do it all and wore myself out trying to keep one foot in the world and one in the Bible to make my child have the best American/Christian Christmas ever. Don't get me wrong, we made memories and had fun, but it didn't come without stress.
This year, I am choosing to be proactive and selective with hopes that this season will be honoring to the One Who's birth we are celebrating.
We are choosing not to do "Elf on the Shelf," because for us we are concerned it may derail the truth and character building we're pouring into our children daily and don't have the energy to do both a Jesse Tree and Elf. The Jesse Tree fits right in with the chronological Bible teaching we are so passionate about, so it was an easy choice for us.
I am also trying to be proactive on the Santa front. Reading this article gave me great perspective. Everything Jonah has picked up about Santa has been from songs, books, and people asking him what Santa is bringing. So far, I have answered his questions with questions. We watched a Veggie Tales movie last night about the real St. Nicholas. We will go do an annual photo with Santa, but we are going to focus on the history of St. Nick which I think is a very beautiful picture of living out faith in Christ.
So, on to our new family tradition, The Jesse Tree, that I hope will continue year after year in our home. I hope to make another set of these ornaments next year, so they will each have a set.
I bought many of the shapes at Hobby Lobby and Michaels and had to make a few from scratch. I still have to find/make a trumpet and wheat ornament.
Each day I will wrap the ornament and have the kids open it to put it on a small tree in their room. We will read the Bible passage for the day out of their Jesus Storybook Bible or other children's Bible as well as do a craft/activity where applicable.
They will hear the redemptive thread of Christ through scripture each day and anticipate His birthday as the month progresses. It's a fun and nostalgic way to keep the focus on Christ every day for pre-schoolers.
Maybe you've been feeling that tug to be more intentional this Christmas? You still have time to get/make your ornaments. I spent about 2 hours making mine this afternoon with a friend. She hot glued while I painted. The advent fun begins this Saturday.
1. Earth: Creation
2. Apple: Adam and Eve
3. Rainbow: Noah
4. Stars: God’s Promise to Abraham
5. Bundle of Sticks: Isaac
6. Ladder: Jacob
7. Coat: Joseph
8. Burning Bush: Moses
9. Lamb: Passover
10. Ten Commandments: Moses Gives God’s Commandments
11. Wheat: ruth
12. Red Rope: Rehab
14. Trumpet: Joshua
15. Shepherd’s Crook: David
16. Stone Alter: Elijah
17. Sun: Isaiah
18. Tears: Jeremiah
19. Lion: Daniel
20. Whale: Jonah
21. Female Crown: Esther
22. Watch Tower: Habakuk
23 Heart: Ezra, God’s People turn their heart back to God
24. Pen/Tablet: Zechariah/John
25. Angel: Mary
26. Manger: Jesus’ Birth
27. Star: Wise Men