Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen


Advent 2015

For the third year in a row, I have planned out activities for us to do in preparation for Christmas. The first year, I took a total shot in the dark at putting some form to our family’s celebration of Advent (having no significant liturgical background to speak of), and started off our journey toward a more ‘handmade’ approach to the season. We are still using the original Advent board I made (which at the time, I thought may not survive a year in the Christmas Box, but have been surprised at how well it has held up). The second year, I updated our activity list with new things…some of which worked out, and some of which didn’t. I wanted to make a Jesse Tree with ornaments, but when I started in on the project, it did not come together the way I wanted it to, so I temporarily abandoned it. This year, I wanted to try again, and see if I couldn’t make the Jesse Tree a more central part of what we do daily leading up to Christmas day.

Yesterday, the kids and I spent time making the tree out of felt and fabric, and for the time being, we are using paper ornaments. Eventually, I would love to make felt ornaments to use again and again, but that will not happen this year. The tree didn’t turn out exactly as I planned, but it will do for now, and we’re just going to celebrate the ‘done over perfect’ philosophy. I picked up the book Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, and just two days in to the scripture/readings, I have to say, I am really enjoying it. The kids enjoyed coloring the ornaments, and I can see this activity being something we repeat again in the years to come.

This year, our activities are heavy on the creative-end. The kids are all crazy-nuts about making things, so I wanted to give them a number of hands-on projects to keep their hearts and hands happy. I also find that doing too many activities out of the house amidst the hustle and bustle is not as relaxing or enjoyable for any of us. So, at home, making-a-mess it is!

December 1: Make/Begin Jesse Tree + Ornaments
December 2: Begin reading A Christmas Carol
December 3: Make Cinnamon Applesauce Heart Ornaments
December 4: Christmas Party
December 5: Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 6: Make Snack Snowmen
December 7: Make Christmas Cupcakes
December 8: Seahawks Kids Club Holiday Party
December 9: Write and send a Christmas letter to someone special
December 10: Nutcracker Ballet / Candy Cane Hunt
December 11: Do a Christmas Word Find
December 12: See Christmas Lights
December 13: Make & Paint Popsicle-stick Snowflakes & Ornaments
December 14: Do An Act of Service Together
December 15: Decorate Ice Cream Cone Trees
December 16: Make Mini Paper Angels
December 17: Complete a Christmas Tree Maze
December 18: Make Beaded Candy Cane Ornaments
December 19: Hot Chocolate/Family Game Night
December 20: Watch a Christmas movie
December 21: Make Sugar Cookies Together
December 22: Decorate Cookies with Friends
December 23: Read the Christmas Story in Luke
December 24: Open a Gift
December 25: Christmas Day! Make a Christmas Video

“Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:1-2

1131. luncheon day at cbs, 1132. chore chart victories, 1133. vanilla-frosted banana cake, 1134. unexpected conversations about death and heaven with a three year old, 1135. jesse tree made, 1136. new beautiful book, 1137. singing together, 1138. drop-in visit from a new friend, 1139. rediscovering a darling coat in our storage room that now fits #2 daughter, 1140. tapestry table