Thursday, 3 December 2015

Homemade Advent calendars - past and present!

When I was a child, my mum made a special Advent calendar for us. Each pocket contained a character from the Christmas story (plus a few animals and a palm tree to make up the numbers!), as well as a Bible verse to read. Each year, we enjoyed making up the picture and remembering the story together.

When our children were born, my mum passed it on to us for our family to use. The children have loved it.

My eldest using the calendar my mum made (3 years ago).

My mum's calendar completed.

However, there have been a flurry of babies born in my family over the last few years, so it seemed like it would be fair to pass the calendar on. My sister and her family will enjoy it for the first time this year.

I have spent the last few months sewing our own calendar, a Jesse tree. As we go through Advent, we will pick out decorations which work though the Bible from creation, showing how the Old Testament points forward to Jesus. We have are using the helpful Advent family studies which are in Disciplines of a Godly Family by Kent and Barbara Hughes as a guide.

My eldest and my calendar!


My calendar, 3 days into Advent.

It is fair to say that I am not naturally talented when it comes to craft, so this has been a major undertaking. I enlisted my husband to draw patterns for the ornaments and for the tree (no way could I have managed this at all!), while I have done the planning and the sewing. I don't have a sewing machine, so this has taken quite a while to make by hand!

So far, we have had Creation, Fall, and Flood. The children are having fun guessing which Bible story may come next.

We hope that this will become part of our own family traditions for Christmas, and also give us another opportunity to see how the Bible is a book about Jesus.

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 might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord –
 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
Isaiah 11:1-3 

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