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This holiday season my husband and I really wanted to make sure we were focusing on Jesus this Christmas. Last year we started the tradition of purchasing a nativity ornament every year to add to our tree. This year we wanted to build on that and find a new tradition that we can use to set our hearts and minds on Jesus as Christmas approaches, which is where the idea of Advent comes into play.
I scoured the internet looking for an Advent devotional that we could do together, but also use for years to come with our family and in the future with our kiddos. I stumbled across the devotional titled: Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu. It had great reviews and I loved the idea of focusing on who Jesus is and the importance of each name in the Bible. I also loved that it has additional scriptures to look up, prayers, carols, and activity ideas that can be done along with the devotion for that week and day.
Once I received it I had the idea to make an ornament for each name of Jesus from the devotional, so each day we could hang it on the tree. I also decided to make a small tree especially for our nativity ornaments and the Advent ornaments. I felt that these needed their own tree and space so they would be set apart from everything else and easy to keep up with.
I already had some large gift tags so I decided for the first year I could use these to save time and money. I can replace them later with a more durable ornament later on. I am thinking about doing wood slices and painting the center white or black and writing the name on one side and the scripture that goes with that name on the other side. All I did this time to make though was simply calligraphy each name that went with each day from the devotional on the gift tags I had. After we read each day we can find the ornament/tag with that name and hang it on our tree.
It would also be cute to print out the name along with the scripture that goes with each day on little strips of paper and then put those into a clear ornament with some fake snow and tie a little ribbon on the top. I think kiddos would love helping add the fake snow and cutting the strips out for these.
The author has a website that has tons of great resources for you and your family including a free 3 day sample of the book to get you started until yours is delivered. It also includes coloring pages for your kiddos and a link to another page where you can purchase additional activities and printable that go along with the book. You can check it all out here.
I didn’t realize until we did Sunday’s reading that we were supposed to light an Advent candle each week, so we had to improvise and use a Christmas candle I had already. (Oops. Should have read more closely before December 1st.) I will eventually make an Advent candle wreath to use each year as well.
Does your family participate in Advent? Or do you have a special tradition that you do to set your hearts on the true meaning of Christmas?
If you don’t have a tradition set in place already, I have linked this devotional we are using along with several others that I looked at in my research. I have also linked some blank ornaments and the tags that I am using so you can make your own set of Advent ornaments. You can also contact me and I can always make you a custom handlettered set to match your devotional.
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