Christmas time. I love this wonderful time of year. The sounds, the smells, the sights. They all get to me. I have such fond memories of Christmas as a child. Listening to Christmas music each night after dinner and dancing by the light from our tree. There were Christmas parties, Christmas cantatas at church, and the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. There were dinners with friends, ornament exchanges, and picking out the perfect present for everyone in my family. I used to dream of sharing all these sweet traditions with a family of my own one day for I wanted them to get the warm and fuzzy feeling every year when Christmas rolled around.
Now I'm here. I'm in this moment with my husband and 3 children and yes, I want to share these fun traditions with them, but most of all I want them to get it. I want them to get the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and what it all means. Our Saviour, born into the world, so that He might save us from our sin. That is what it is all about. I want them to know Jesus.
I came across a devotional book for the Jesse Tree. I had heard of a Jesse Tree in years past, but never really looked into what it means. The tree is a way to trace Jesus' family line from Abraham to Christ's birth by reading scripture each day and truly thinking and preparing our hearts to celebrate Jesus' birth.
I had the kids help me make our ornaments for the tree and we began our journey on December 1st. Each day we light our Advent candle or candles, pull out the day's ornament, and read from God's Word. So far we have covered
"The Fall" when sin first entered the world
The great flood and Noah, a man of great faith
When God told Abram to leave and go to the promise land
And when God fulfilled his promise to Abraham in giving him a son, Issac
Our humble little tree that retells how the King of Kings, Prince of Peace entered our world, humbly.
I have to say it is my most favorite part of the day. After each devotion is read and the ornament adorns our tree, there is a little advent "adventure" that we get to do as a family that day or evening. We have read Christmas storybooks, made cards for others, and listened to Christmas music. Over the next few weeks, we will go looking at Christmas lights, make hot chocolate, make Christmas cookies, build a gingerbread house and watch Christmas movies. That warm fuzzy feeling is still there, but I can see it in my children's eyes too. And they know why.
It's all because of Jesus...