While we certainly love the decorating, caroling, treats, gifts and all the sweet, special things that make Christmas such a wonderful holiday, last year we started teaching the kids the true meaning of Christmas using the Jesse Tree Advent custom.
The Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus. It tells the story of God's salvation, beginning with creation and continuing through the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit."
Sunday marked the beginning of Advent and the first day of our Jesse Tree teachings. Each night after dinner and once we're in our jammies, we snuggle up in the living room by the tree and read the daily scripture, talk about what it means and hang the day's ornament on our Jesse Tree. We are using this guide for our daily devotional. I also used the drawings on that site for templates to create our ornaments. For just a few dollars, I picked up white felt, gold glitter paint and gold cording to make the ornaments. There are also ready-made sets out there if you are interested in starting this tradition but don't want to make all the ornaments.
This has become the sweetest part of my day and something I look forward to doing for many more years!
The week before last, while catching up on Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl (both so fab this season!), I channeled my inner-crafter to churn out a couple of coffee filter wreaths to complete my living room holiday decor. And while a little patience was a must, I assure you that the price tag of seven dollars (per wreath) made it totally worth it!
For each wreath you'll need:
14" foam wreath
400 1-4 cup coffee filters
1. Wrap the wreath by spreading out coffee filters and hot gluing to attach.
2. I then separated about 50 filters in a big pile. You want to fold the filter in fourths. So, fold in half once and then in half again. You'll want to pinch the bottom of the fold tightly but leave the ruffled part loose and ruffled.
3. Apply hot glue to the point of the folded filter.
4. Attach the filter to the wreath. I essentially covered all parts of the wreath that were seen when it's laying flat. I figured having a flat back would make it much easier to hang. Place them close together on the wreath.
5. Repeat, making your way around the wreath until covered! I used nearly all 400 filters on one wreath.
6. I looped a wide, satin ribbon around the wreath and hung from the top of my living room bookcase with a strong staple gun staple. Here's the finished back and finished front!
I'm heading up to the PCP's school to help in the class, serve up some six year old birthday cheer and dine on some curious cafeteria concoction.
We might have kicked off Christmas, but there was still one final Thanksgiving meal to be had around these parts. Mother, Daddy-O, Sister, her Mister and Bird gathered around our table today to enjoy a meal full of delectable eats, lively conversation, and three slightly ill behaved children.
The menu was extensive... butternut squash soup, warm pear and blue cheese salad, honey glazed ham (I'm not the only one that doesn't care for turkey in this fam), skillet creamed corn, apple and sage cornbread dressing, roasted potatoes, from scratch green bean casserole (cause another thing we don't care for is cream of anything soup) and caramel apple pie.
The PCP even participated in our Turkey Talk this year. So precious to hear his little answers.
I love days like these - the women cooking all day in the kitchen with six little feet scurrying about. The men watching football, enjoying cold beers and helping out here and there. The littles being littles, getting into loads of trouble and dipping fingers in pies when heads are turned.
Now Daddy-O is treating the girls to our annual outing to the Nutcracker. Hands down my favorite ballet of all time.
It's been a memorable week of family and fun...