Sunday, December 1, 2013

Celebrating Advent at Home: Advent Calendar & Jesus Tree

Advent Calendar and Jesus Tree

In addition to our weekly tradition of lighting the Advent Wreath, my husband and I wanted to do something small with the kids each day to celebrate Advent and again keep the focus on Jesus.  If you want to know more about Advent, check out my Advent vs Christmas post.

Many people do an "Advent" calendar where each day leading up to Christmas you open the door/pocket/stocking and there is a small gift inside. I would probably rename these Christmas calendars because although lots of families enjoy doing these, those calendars do not have anything to do with Advent.  Advent is for preparing for Christ not Christmas. So I took that idea and turned it into a true Advent tradition for our family. I picked 24 Scriptures and 24 names for Jesus. One for each day in December leading up to Christmas. Each day we will read a part of Jesus' story from the bible and put an ornament on our "Advent Tree" that has a name for Jesus. The scriptures range from prophecies about the coming of Jesus, to the preparing a way for Jesus and Jesus' birth.

How we do our Advent Calendar 


Our Advent Calender (not hung up)

I made the Advent calendar in the picture with small stockings hung on small rope. On each stocking I painted a number for the corresponding day of December leading up to Christmas. Inside each stocking is a printed card with the scripture for the day and a small ornament with a name of Jesus.

Painted ornament with a name for Jesus

Every night after PJ's are put on and teeth are brushed, we get together and do our Advent Calendar. The kids pull out the ornament with a name of Jesus and the card with the scripture on it out of the stocking that corresponds to that day. We sit down together as a family and Daddy reads the scripture and then we tell them what ornament says. Then they hang the ornament on our Jesus Tree.

Our small "Jesus Tree" for our Jesus ornaments

Here are the scriptures we are using for each night and the name for Jesus:

                             December 1:             Isaiah 7: 13-15;              Immanuel
                             December 2:             Isaiah 9: 6-7;                 Prince of Peace
                             December 3:             Isaiah 11: 1-5;                Wonderful Counselor
                             December 4:             Isaiah 11: 6-10;              Lion of Judah
                             December 5:             Jeremiah 33: 14-16;         Savior
                             December 6:             Micah 5: 2-5;                Good Shepherd
                             December 7:             Luke 1: 11-17;                The Way
                             December 8:             Luke 1: 21-25;               Lord
                             December 9:             Luke 1: 26-38;               Jesus
                             December 10:           Matthew 1: 18-21;          Messiah
                             December 11:           Matthew 1: 22-26;          Holy One
                             December 12:           Luke 1: 39-45;                Son of God
                             December 13:           Luke 1: 46-56;                Mighty One
                             December 14:           Luke 2: 1-5;                   Christ
                             December 15:           Luke 2: 6-7;                   Healer
                             December 16:           Luke 2: 8-12;                 Anointed One
                             December 17:           Luke 2: 13-14;                Light of the World
                             December 18:           Luke 2: 15-18;               Lamb of God
                             December 19:           Luke 2: 19-20;               Redeemer
                             December 20:           Matthew 2: 1-2;            God With Us
                             December 21:           Matthew 2: 3-6;            King of Kings
                             December 22:           Matthew 2: 7-8;            Rabbi
                             December 23:           Matthew 2: 9-12;           Everlasting Father
                             December 24:           John 1:14                     The Word

I found many different lists of scriptures online and in print and adapted the list of scriptures to what I thought was the most important. I wanted to make sure that the scriptures to cover the prophecies, the preparation of Jesus' birth and Jesus' birth, but did not want the scriptures to be too long each day. So I read the all the verses, shortened some and lengthened others. The list that I have compiled is, for the most part, in chronological order. Most of the names for Jesus relate to the verses read for that day, but some do not, but all are names used for Jesus.

It is ok to not have an Advent calendar or a Jesus tree. If all you do is sit down as a family each night and read the verses and learn the name for Jesus that day, that is wonderful! I hope you join us in celebrating Advent with a little piece of the Christmas story and a little bit more of Jesus each day!

God Bless
Happy Advent
and Merry Christmas,

Katie <><

Check out my related posts!
Celebrating Christmas at Home: Advent Wreath
Advent vs Christmas

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