Sunday, November 23, 2008

Advent calendars/Jesse tree

Do any of you do one of these - I mean a distinctly Christian version, not something where the kids get a chocolate each day and nothing else!

For the last two years, I have done a version of Kent & Barbara Hughes' in Disciplines of a Godly Family. Overall it has been good, but has been a bit advanced for the stage my children are at. Having said that, A could probably follow most of it this year and read along with the readings, but I have been thinking about re-writing it a bit, or finding another version. I found one at which I still have to look into in some depth.

I am wondering whether anyone else out there has one or does one that they like? It's only a week until it is supposed to start and so time is running out!

I suspect as a backup I will go with the Hughes' version again, and take detailed notes as to ideas or changes as we do it, with the hope of actually thinking about in in January, rather than next November, again!

Nicole commented that she would like to see what I do for the actual tree, so I have now attached some photos. I made a very simple one two years ago - 2 large white pieces of cardboard stuck together, a tree drawn on it and then ribbons fed through it via punched out holes. The ribbons hold up the numbers/bible verses which are printed on the computer on business cards. An opened paperclip attaches them to the ribbons. Hopefully this is clear when you look at the photos (mocked up for tonight, so yes I know most of the numbers are missing!). I fix it to the wall and it's done.

This is a simple option, which appealed to me as I don't mind if the children play with it and wreck it - it's easily fixed and all the verses etc are on the computer and easily reprinted. As they all get older I may make a nicer one, but I want to keep the appeal for my son, so I don't want it looking too 'girly'.

For each of the days, there is an extended reading as well as a verse for the day, the verse is what is printed on each of the cards. There is also a suggestion as to what you can make for a craft. We have just drawn a picture each day and pinned them up in a big line around the wall, near the tree itself.

For the first year, we are really competing with Santa (thanks to Mr 5 now being at school), so a friend suggested we make this as appealing as possible - perhaps I will figure out a way to attach little parcels as well, or make a pocket type as others have done. However they have really enjoyed it for the last two years.


Karen said...

I've got a felt picture that builds up which Narelle helped me make last year. Each day a child pulls a piece of the picture and a Bible verse out of a pocket. As for the verses, I haven't decided what to use. I've got a couple of options - a list from Narelle or one from Beth and I think that Row also had one which I was going to chase up. Having said all that - I'm not sure we're even going to try to do it this year.

Karen said...

Also, I'm interested in your Easter one. So if you want to do some thinking about that in January too, then I can just steal your idea complete and without any adjustment needed! Any chance that might happen?!

Nicole said...

LOL! I put up a post about advent calendars this morning, with some links on how to make one. You might also be interested in some of my posts from Christmas last year where readers shared what they do to make their Christmas Christ-focussed.

Would love to see a pic of your Jesse tree!

Nicole said...

PS. I"m going to follow up with a post later in the week about what to put in the Advent calendar. Last year I used some notes from Carmelina Read (, but this year I'm thinking of dividing up the readings myself.

Would love to see what you come up with.

Wendy said...

Karen, will definitely think about the Easter one again in advance. If you want to do it though - here's an advance tip - start occasionally getting Kinder Surprises and keep the egg inside (you can let the kids have the toy and chocolate if you like!) - you will need 12. You are welcome to it once done!

& Nicole, have adapted the blog entry to include photos.

Thanks, Wendy

Pip said...

Thanks for the idea and link Wendy. We just have an old fashioned cardboard nativity scene that we add to each day (similar to the one my family had as a child). Might investigate the Jesse Tree idea for next year.