Friday, December 2, 2011

The Jesse Tree...and other Advent Traditions


For two years now, I have wanted to make a set of felt Advent ornaments for my little family.  So, when we learned about the Jesse Tree through my wonderful sister-in-law, Christine, I began to dream of making my own set of ornaments to go along with this book that she gave us.  Originally, I had wanted to make this beautiful advent calendar, but I lacked both time and felt.  So, I began instead to just concentrate on the ornaments this year...and hang them on some branches on our kitchen table.

I began on Thanksgiving night, and I have stayed up late several nights working on them.  At this point, I have all but the last five ornaments (including Jesus in a manger which seems rather daunting to me).  Last night, I decided I needed something to put them in so I sewed some little pockets with numbers on them and strung them up into a garland.  And, the pockets are more portable and therefore better for Christmas travel.

This is really my first time playing with wool felt, and I have loved it.  I found mine from here and here.  It is beautiful and so easy and fun to work with.  And, with freezer paper, the possibilities are endless.  I used the freezer paper to make the Day 1 earth ornament above as well as the numbers for the pockets.  It is really easy...and I am having fun with it.

Speaking of fun, Caleb is also loving this Lego Advent Calendar our friends Phil and Liz sent us.  Thanks so much, friends.  :-)  He wanted to sleep with his new Lego guy. 

Last year, we began the tradition of wrapping 25 children's books about Christmas.  I loved the idea, so I gathered all the books about Christmas that I could find in our house and bought the rest at our local used book store.  Each year, we will buy a new one to replace the less wonderful ones.  The new one will be special...to be opened the first night of December.  This year, I chose Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  I love it.  It isn't too often that I find myself worshiping the Lord while reading a picture book.  :-)


I am praying that this Christmas season will be one in which our hearts are filled with love and worship of the One born that night in a stable...not the noise that our culture has made of it.  I want to celebrate Him, love people, and simply enjoy my family.  What does your family do to celebrate Advent?

8 comments:

Leslie said...

Normally I don't do anything but you traditions are soooo beautiful and sound so fun. We'll have to start with something this year! xoxoxo
We're still praying daily for you. God bless.

Jen said...

Such wonderful ideas! You are a great wife and Mother!

tasha said...

love all of this, mandy. it looks beautiful and you are a beautiful mama. you are so talented and i love how much meaning and love is behind that talent.

Melanie said...

Wow, your ornaments and numbered pockets look absolutely lovely!

We always try to have some type of countdown: a chain to tear off, adding ornaments to a paper tree, etc. We also have an advent wreath and try to do special devotions--this year we are using the ones from Focus on the Family. I ran out of time to wrap our 25 books, so I just attached a number to each one and have them sitting in a bag to pull out each day. My kids are getting old enough to remember the traditions, and that makes it pretty fun and special!

Anonymous said...

Love this idea Mandy and just dowloaded the Jesse info. Thanks for sharing and it looks beautiful! Love you-Jenny Best

Julia said...

Love love love it! If u want to make another set I'd love to commission one from you. Those numbers look extremely hard. Up for a tutorial? Love the book recommendation. I just added them to my amazon wish list and will order soon. I got a bunch of Xmas books last year too. Such a great investment for years to come.

Liz and Phil said...

Catching up tonight on your blog. Caleb is most welcome...it's really from the girls ;) So creative and beautiful Mandy! So grateful, inspiring, and peace from No Other that you guys are worshiping the One who Has Come to give us His Love. May your celebration be amazing!

Liz and Phil said...

Catching up tonight on your blog. Caleb is most welcome...it's really from the girls ;) So creative and beautiful Mandy! So grateful, inspiring, and peace from No Other that you guys are worshiping the One who Has Come to give us His Love. May your celebration be amazing!

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