Christmas Family Devotions
For the Carter household, Christmas signifies oodles of treats and memories with family and friends, but one important tradition we have established as a family — and one we look forward to each year — is our Advent Family Devotions. Advent derives from the Latin word Adventus which means “coming”, and our family has tried to make an intentional effort over the years to celebrate together the “Coming” of the Christ child into our world at Bethlehem for the entirety of the Advent Season.
It’s not too soon to begin planning for Family Devotions for Advent. Here are some resources that our our family would like to share with yours:
THE JESSE TREE. The Jesse Tree is an old Christmas tradition dating back to Medieval Times to tell the biblical story from Creation to Christmas. Jesse was the Father of King David, and Jesus descended from this Royal Descendant. The Prophet Isaiah wrote:
“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.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)
Just as a branch is a new sign of life on a tree, so the birth of Jesus dawned a new day for his genealogical tree that would impact the whole of humankind.
The Jesse Tree Resources:
The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent (By Ann Voskamp) will guide you into easy but meaningful family devotions.
Or, you can download many free printables for the ornaments available all over the internet.
In addition to celebrating the Jesse Tree together (which only takes a few minutes), reading together a fictional Advent story soaked with Christian principles has been a good way for our family to bond together.
This series has been a hit for our boys:
Christmas Books for the Children:
A family might consider setting up a basket of Christmas books for the children. Or, perhaps you might give several Christmas books to your children during the Advent Season in an “Advent Book Countdown”. Here are some recommendations:
The Pine Tree Parable (by Liz Curtis Higgs)
The Legend of the Christmas Tree (by Rick Osborne)
Humphrey’s First Christmas (by Carol Heyer)
The Legend of the Christmas Stocking (by Rick Osborne)
The Legend of the Candy Cane (by Lori Walburg)
Advent Readings for Adults: