Our family does a combination of a daily Advent calendar, Adornaments, and traditional Advent wreath.
The Jesus Tree is a miniature tree that we place by the Advent candles that holds Adornaments. Adornaments are names of Jesus made into ornaments. Each ornament is a booklet with the cover illustrating the name of Jesus. On the inside is a small version of the description of the name. There is a booklet that is included that gives a longer version. If kids can read, I suggest letting them read the ornament version aloud because they will remember the concept better. We only add an Adornament every even day of December since there are only 12 in the boxed set we have. Some people do all twelve in a row on the twelve days of Christmas.
This year our Advent storybook is Bartholomew’s Passage. It is the second in a series of three books by Arnold Ytreeide: Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels. Each book includes a portion of the story (always with a cliffhanger) for every day of Advent and for Christmas Day. There is reflections for family devotions, an Advent calendar from now to 2075 plus ideas for family Advent customs. We read the first in the series last year and it helped us focus on the real story and meaning of Christmas.
Each story is set just prior to the time of Christ and the character is somehow involved with the Christmas story. The little devotion each night ties in the Advent season with the story and helps us to relate it to our lives.
(Editor’s Note: Adornaments are similar to Christments. Christian Book Distributors does not carry this product. Check with your local Christian bookstore.)
God only had one arrow in His quiver. He loved His Son, but He loved His creation too. When He looked down and saw the mess that His creation had made of His world, He knew He had to make a choice. With that, He pulled His one and only arrow from His quiver and placed it in the bow. He pulled back the string with the arrow in it and…”She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.”
~ Beth Moore