As our kids are getting older, we've enjoyed using an advent calendar through the month of December. For years we've talked of doing a Jesse tree, but can't seem to find the time to put it together. Last year we used a lego advent calendar and while it was fun for the kids, it didn't do anything to point us toward the real reason for celebrating Christmas.
This year I looked on pinterest for ideas and put a few different ideas together to come up with this:
I bought 12 pairs of baby mittens. You can look for Christmas themed ones, but I like that these are "wintery" instead of "Christmasy". I then took little tags and wrote the numbers 1-24 on one side and pinned them to the inside of the mitten.
On the other side of the tag is a list of Scriptures to read each day.
All of these mittens are hung with small (but not tiny) clothes pins. These can be found at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. The rope is actual clothes line that we used on our clothes line outside. This is the leftover. It's sturdy enough to hold anything we put inside the mittens, but is green and pretty enough to work for Christmas decor.
Just before December first we'll also put a little treat inside each mitten so the kids can take turns looking inside. They'll receive a little gift (likely candy) and read the Scripture for the day. We plan to incorporate this into our normal morning devotions during breakfast.
What do I like about this?
1. It's reuseable. Each year we can pull it out and use it again and again.
2. The kids will have a fun thing to do to build anticipation as we move toward Christmas day.
3. It's doesn't end with the fun. We will read the Scripture verses and talk about what really matters.
Here are the verses we're using each day. These came recommended to us, but we haven't yet tried using them in this order for advent. We'll see how it goes. I've been thinking about using a second set of tags that has more of the prophecies from Isaiah and switching back and forth each year. But here's a starting place.
Day 1: Luke 2:21-40
Day 2: Matthew 1:1-25
Day 3: Luke 2:1-20
Day 4: Mark 9:33-37
Day 5: Matthew 4:12-17, Isaiah 9:1-3, Matthew 5:14-16
Day 6: Acts 20:35, I John 4:10
Day 7: Exodus 25
Day 8: Matthew 25:31-46
Day 9: Isaiah 9:6-7, Revelation 19:1-16, I Timothy 6:11-16
Day 10: Matthew 1:22-23, Isaiah 7:10-15, John 1:14
Day 11: Genesis 1:1-31, Isaiah 1:18, Psalm 51:1-10
Day 12: Revelation 2:1-5, I John 3:1-3
Day 13: Psalm 150
Day 14: Acts 15:22-31
Day 15: Luke 1, Jeremiah 32:17
Day 16: Matthew 2:1-12
Day 17: Galatians 4:1-7
Day 18: Isaiah 58, Matthew 6:16-18
Day 19: Luke 11:1-13
Day 20: John 1
Day 21: John 21:25
Day 22: Psalm 100
Day 23: Matthew 25
Day 24: John 3:16