Let's face it...Christmas is the highlight of every child's year. More often than not, Santa and gifts is what is on the forefront of their mind. I noticed last year with my 2 and 3 year old, that they were on a Christmas "high" after it was all said and done. Of course we had super fun, snapped lots of pictures and watched them enjoy their "things". Then came the "crash". Christmas was OVER...WAAAHHHH! No more gifts and literally within days those were not fun anymore and the full fledged whining began. It left a bad taste in my mouth and I knew that 2010... we were changing things.
A friend last year introduced me to the Advent Jesse Tree. It is a family devotional that you do with your family every night in the month of December. (Some people start after Thanksgiving.) Every night you explore a bible story that leads up to Christ's birth starting with creation. Some people strictly tell the history from Jesus' lineage and others like ourself, tell important stories that paved the way for Christ to come. Afterwards they open an ornament that signifies the story and they put it on the tree.
Here are a few guides that you can go by...everyone does it a little different.
So we are 9 days into this and the subject around the house is, "When are we doing the Jesse tree?" Not, "How many days until Christmas?" I want to raise my children with an awareness that the Joy of Christmas is not in gifts but in our Savior. Ultimately, I pray that with their little minds surrounded with biblical truth every day, that their hearts would be bent more to eternal things at Christmas.
If you would like for me to e-mail you what readings we did this year, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.