Tuesday, December 1, 2015

4 Ways to Help Them Know OF Him

1. I LOVE the Jesse Tree Idea. 
I took Anne Voskamps Advent Calendar Printables and some more easily colored Jesse tree Coloring Pages. I had Jack color a few pages and we cut them out and put some ribbon through holes in the top. TWhile walking our dog, Jack and I picked up a few good sticks and then I tied them together with some rope. I put it in a galvanized pail I had, and surrounded the sticks with some leftover Rafia I also had. I found some christmas lights for $2.00 and I helped Jack string his tree with lights.

Then I matched the stories from the Jesse Tree to the Stories in his Storybook Bible. I labeled each story with the corresponding Advent day.

Since we don't have Jack ALL the time, I cut down on some of the stories, and filled the calendar days that we don't have him with bits of chocolate, and craft projects for ornaments he could make. Like a toilet paper crown with scrapbook Sticker Gems for Esthers Crown, and some Rafia and ribbon to make a Bundle of Wheat for Ruth to Hang on the Tree, Some Calendar dates I also put a note in so that he knows what we will be doing the following day, like cutting down a Christmas Tree or Decorating Cookies for the Cookie Social.

I also hid the christ-child that goes in the manger in day 24 of his advent calendar. (He thinks it's a piece of candy and that we lost the Christ Child because he couldn't find it with the other pieces)

He puts an ornament on the tree and then we read the story together. He also enjoys listening to devotionals from Jesus Calling and LOVES to find the scriptures in the Bible and read them out loud. I help him out with the hard words, but for the most part, she picked some 6 year old friendly bible verses.

(Pictures will come when the weather isn't so Dreary and I can get a non-fuzzy pic with my not so awesome camera phone)

I also really like "Truth in The Tinsel." Though it is really hard to do when we only really get good time with The Kid every other week, so it is hard to fit everything in. We did it last year, but are not doing it this year.

2. Wrap 25 Christmas Books Up  
and have your child pick a book every evening to read before they go to bed.

 I tried to mix it up a little bit because The Kid gets a little uneasy when he hears "Too Much" about Jesus. His catch phrase is "Why are we talking about his again?"  Many of the books I dug out of the books my parents read me when I was a kid, the rest of them are books that I borrowed or found at this great Christian Thrift Store $1 for softcover, $2 for Hardcover, BOGO free!!! I scour their Christmas collection every year.

Our Favorite Books Are:
The Littlest Angel 
Santa and the Christ Child
Both books take some secular ideas and point us back to Christ. They are great children's classics. I believe The Littlest Angel is also a cartoon on Netflix.

3. Create an Advent Chain
to decorate the house to help us remember who Jesus is. I love this one from Spell Out Loud.

4. Purchase or create an Advent Wreath.
Here is a great tutorial on the Advent Wreath. Reading the scriptures can be a little tedious before you eat dinner, since everyone is hungry and waiting for Sunday dinner. It might be better to do it as a weekly family devotional time.  I think it is SO important to HEAR scripture being read. It makes it come alive, it makes it understandable to big and little ears alike.

I didn't really know about Advent wreaths until I went to college at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame Indiana. They did Chistmas right there! When I came home for Christmas I WANTED an Advent Wreath. My Dad found a beautiful Advent wreath with children of the world holding up ribbons with the themes of advent. I just found one at the thrift store for $8 recently. We usually stick a bigger, more sparkly candle in the center of the wreath and surround it with greenery. That's our Christmas Candle.

Here is something similar to the Advent wreath idea.

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