Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Parade of Ornaments & Traditions

I love Christmas. It makes the cold weather less terrible. The lights and decor make a normal Tuesday extra special. Shopping for and creating gifts for our family and Sweet Avery/Sweet Henry is exciting. Christmas means a guaranteed vacation and trip to Amarillo to relax (or as close to relaxing as traveling with two small children can be.) I can rock Henry while the lights on the tree glow next to our chair. It means we attend a candlelight church service on Christmas eve. But before I discuss how we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, lets take a look at a sampling of ornaments from our tree.


Avery’s 1st Christmas  - From Kiki


Whittney to Barry: 2005


Avery’s 1st Christmas – From Coco


Whittney to Barry: 2006

 DSC05992 Our 1st Christmas  - From Kiki


Painted Nativity Scene – From Coco or Grandma Robb (Which one of you?)

DSC05994 Barry to Whittney – 2003 – Dave Matthews Marshmallow

DSC05995 I can always count on Kiki to get me a pretty Willow Tree figurine - 2009

DSC05996 Barry to Whittney – 2006 – His favorite.


The tree minus the star on top; it was squished last year and never replaced.

DSC06006This little guy is not a new addition, but we have decided to make it a Jesse Tree. In the past, it was just adorned with candy canes, but as you can see we have added a new tradition.  It is a more purposeful way to celebrate Advent and give Avery a hands-on way to participate while we read scripture.

“The name “Jesse Tree” comes from Isaiah 11:1-2: A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”

The Jesse Tree idea centers around Jesus as the fulfillment of this prophesy being the “stump of Jesse”. I had a blast beginning to assemble my own homemade ornaments to add to our tree throughout the Advent season. Each ornament represents a different story, starting at the beginning of Creation and working all the way to the coming of Christ Jesus. Each reading shows how all the Old Testament points towards the coming of Christ as the Messiah. The Jesse Tree gives such a beautiful picture into seeing how each story of the Bible speaks about God. Each story is a little whisper of His name and a glimpse into character, plan and purpose. The Jesse Tree is a form of Advent, in which you read one story each day from November 30-December 25. It is a fun and purposeful opportunity to sit down as a family and read more about His coming, but also have a visual representation through each ornament.”

-copied from Passionate Homemaking


We printed these ornaments here and decided to use this as our simple guide. Next year, I would like to purchase this felt ornament set and print A Jesus Advent Celebration by Ann Voskamp. I ran out of time and money this year! On another note, did you know that a candy cane is a symbol of Christ? I didn’t until recently. You can read more about the candy cane here.

We also packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. It was filled with hygiene items, toys, candies, crayons, a mini coloring book, a photo of Avery & Henry and a little note for a girl age 5-9. Avery had a fun time picking things out at the store and we attached a bar code so we can track our package and see where in the world it lands. We plan to help each of our children fill a box every Christmas. Barry even wrapped the shoe box to make it pretty.


Here’s a little tour of the rest of our Christmas decor.

DSC06008No mantel = improvise.


Santas in the hall and Nativity scene on the top of the fridge.



Front Door


Our Charlie Brown tree in the front yard.



Merry Christmas Season!

P.S. The clothes pins on the Jesse tree were a temporary solution and that situation has been remedied.


1 comment:

joannalee said...

love your improvisations!

i totally agree about cold and christmas... it's really the only good thing about winter! fortunately we live on the hemisphere where christmas falls during the winter ;)

bar code-- where the heck do you get one of those? that is so freaky and awesome! i would totally want to hide one in every gift to see if it got regifted, haha!