Thursday, December 22, 2011

special Advent calendars.


I love counting down the days 'til Christmas. There's just something about knowing that you're one day closer...maybe it's because I'm all about anticipation. (Even with little things.)

Ever since I was little I've adored Advent calendars. My mom always had a little tree for me and my brother that we put a new tiny, numbered ornament on every day leading up to Christmas. I loved that tradition.

This year we've been starting our own Advent traditions. Last year at Hallmark I got this ridiculously cute magnetic cookie sheet calendar after Christmas for 75% off. :) Each day you put a new cookie and get closer and closer to 25!


It's on our fridge next to our busy December calendar.


How cute is that? My mom spotted it first...but she was ever so sweet to let me get it. :) Since she has about 18,000 different Christmas decorations and I'm just starting out.

Our Advent calendar that is most special to us is our Jesse tree. It's a Shelley family tradition that I'm honored to begin for our new family. My mother-in-law handcrafted ours this year so we could have it for our first Christmas. One day if God blesses us with children they'll be able to participate in this tradition that's been passed down in the family. :)


So let me explain the Jesse tree. It's named after the line of Christ - his great, great, great, great, great, lots of greats grandfather was Jesse, King David's father. You can read about the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. It's amazing to be able to trace Jesus' family tree back hundreds of years.

Each day we put a new "ornament" on the tree starting from the bottom. As you can see in the bottom left hand corner we started with the world - creation. With each addition to the tree there is a section of Scripture to read and a few thought provoking questions to go along with it. The first day we read in Genesis  and talked about how amazing creation is. 

The second day (the bottom middle) was the piece of fruit that Satan tempted Eve with. We read about the fall and how sin separated mankind from God. We talked about how we are ALL sinners and are in desperate need for a Savior!

It goes on each day through the Bible leading up to the birth of that Savior who took the punishment for our sins - Jesus. Jordan and his siblings always bickered over who would have the honor of placing baby Jesus at the top of the tree on Christmas day. Last year he did it.


Jordan and I have been taking turns and he says I can put baby Jesus up since it's my first Christmas doing the Jesse tree. :) :) 

I love this tradition and how special and important it is. The focus of Christmas needs to be on our Savior and how He came to earth to redeem us and show us amazing grace. Because of what Jesus did, we can have a relationship with Him. PRAISE THE LORD! 

It also looks wonderful on our wall which is an added bonus.


I've also been using another calendar to count down to Christmas. I probably shouldn't hang this one on the wall or the fridge though...


Yeah....it just kinda worked out that way. 

Do you have any special Advent calendars that you use? Or any other ways to count down to Christmas?


Ashley

9 comments:

  1. Ha ha!!! You are too cute. Although all of your advent calendars are adorable, the last one made me laugh the most. MERRY CHRISTMAS IN 3 DAYS!!

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  2. Love the Jesse tree..always have, but your ending....fabulous! Laughed Out Loud!

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  3. LOVE these! So special :)
    My mom has a couple different advent calendars that I love but since being married I haven't got any for myself :(

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  4. You are too funny. those are so sweet. I bought one this year that has little doors and each day you pull out a little magnetic piece to add to the board to create the manger scene.

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  5. advent calendars are my favorite. The hubs and I didn't get on this year but I am on the hunt for a more permenant one after christmas

    follow me at
    adventuresofthesouthernwife.blogspot.com

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  6. Oh the sacrifices I am willing to make in a weak moment...just glad you are enjoying it! Your brother is way behind on our advent tree by the way. Love the Jesse tree and the sweet meaning behind each ornament! And that last pic.....you are reaching but hilarious. love you dear daughter and Merry Christmas Eve Eve.

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  7. Love that family advent calendar...what a wonderful tradition.

    Merry Christmas!!

    xoxo,
    megs [at] Shine On

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  8. Very cool! Love all those traditions... the Holidays are fabulous!

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