Our Jesse Tree

If I had to pick a favourite from our family’s Advent traditions I think the Jesse Tree would probably be it. Before we were married I used to imagine one day doing it with my husband and children, I love it.

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This is our Jesse Tree. I made it out of felt in 2009 when Mary was 2. I used giant panels of felt from our fabric store.

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Our ornaments are also made out of felt. I didn’t follow any specific templates, I loosely based them off of Jessica’s examples.
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Our children are only 5.5, 3.5, and 1 so we use a simple illustrated children’s bible (which appears to be out of print now but I really love it).

It’s got short, simple stories for every night, that are easy for our little one to understand.
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For Mary we are going to stop our normal school routine for Advent and start working on a lapbook and the Jesse Tree study guide instead. I think she is ready for something a little more challenging this year. She has inherited my love for traditions so I know it’s going to be lots of fun.

Linking up with the Jesse Tree Link Up at Shower of Roses

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Jesse Tree Link Up

My wonderful sil is hosting a Jesse Tree Link Up on her blog Through the Thorns to the Stars. We have been loving our Jesse tree this year, Mary is really old enough to take in the bible stories and we have had some very interesting discussions… “but Mommy, why did God make the world round?” “Why did they have to blow trumpets to make the wall come down, why couldn’t they use saxaphones?”

Here is a picture of our Jesse tree as it looks right now:

Oh my daughter is *so* type A… just like her mother. We let her choose where to put the ornaments and this is what we have so far. After this picture was taken she was all “stop! The burning bush is crooked! Take another one after I fix it!” Last year all the ornaments were spread out over the tree like a normal Christmas tree… I don’t know what we are going to do in four days when she doesn’t have any points left. We’ll see!

St. Nicholas Day 2010!

Have I mentioned lately  how much I love Advent? Unfortunately the first Sunday of Advent found me in bed with a nasty case of strep throat but I’m much better now and we are thoroughly enjoying our traditions.

I have used my Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions book for inspiration for our celebrations. Can I just say how much I love this book? I use it all year round and she shares some of the most delightful traditions.

Here are the goodies St. Nicholas dropped off. We baked him cookies and the kids each left a carrot in their shoe for his horse. 🙂

*please excuse the awful pictures, I couldn’t take them until everyone was in bed so it was dark…*

Each child gets new slippers, a book, and a present. Mary is getting The Saint Who Became Santa Claus and Luke is getting St. Nicholas: The real story of the Christmas Legend. There is also chocolate coins, an orange, and a candy cane for both of them… I have a feeling that along with our honey cakes my kids will be having candy for breakfast!

This is something I meant to have done for the first week of Advent by being sick kind of put it on hold. I don’t remember where I saw the idea for a play Advent wreath but I thought it was a great one! It was interesting to make, I sewed the wreath and candle holes and then stuffed it with wool so it is a tad lumpy in places but I don’t think they will mind too much.

I have a few crafts and colouring pages set up for tomorrow, it is going to be a great day!
Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!!

Advent with Littles: Ready to go!!

So I spent the day going to craft fairs with a good friend (for whom I am incredibly grateful for today because she fed us and made the day go by so much faster) and completely forgot tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent until I was on my way home at 6:30. So I swung by Tim Hortons and got coffee because I knew I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to get done before tomorrow morning and I was already ready for bed!

I managed to get everything done that I wanted to and I’m pretty excited for Mary to get up tomorrow morning and see everything. I thought I would give you a sneak peek of everything set up around our home. Excuse the quality of the pictures, it is dark and I had to use flash… I also didn’t check them before I uploaded them to my camera so some are a little blurry.
This is the Advent wreath I made (full post on this coming tomorrow), I think it looks so festive on our table.


I’m super excited about how Mary’s reading corner turned out. I think she is going to love it. I moved those two baskets on the bottom, I’m going to stick the beanbag chair in that shelf when she isn’t using it.
I moved our coffee table over against the wall and set up our big nativity there. There is no baby Jesus yet and the wisemen aren’t there because they are still on their journey. We will add them in on Epiphany.
You can see the kings on the fourth shelf here, I love it! Her Little People Nativity set is out too, she hasn’t seen it yet and I know she is going to be thrilled.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an Advent wreath post and our first day of the Jesse tree! 🙂

Advent with Littles: Our Advent Basket, part 1

Now that we have our living room re arranged I have been able to put Mary’s seasonal book basket in a much more appealing location. I emptied out the bottom shelves and made her a little reading corner. A bean bag is on my sewing list for her corner, something comfy.

Here is what is in our Advent Basket this year:


Touch and Feel Baby Jesus Is Born: This is a sweet book, it has cute pictures and Mary loved it last year. The story is simple and easy to understand for little ones.


Little Donkey’s Christmas Story: This is the Christmas story told by a donkey, it’s a great book for younger ones, the donkey helps keep them engaged and listening to the story.


The Nutcracker: I *love* the Little Golden Books series. Especially the old ones. Whenever I find them in a thrift store or at garage sales I snatch them up. They often have the most beautiful illustrations and the sweetest stories! This book is all that. It is obviously very simplified but a very cute story.

Little Mouse’s Wonderful Journey: This is a Christmas story told from the perspective of a mouse. Mary loves any story with an animal in it right now, I’m excited to read this to her.

Baby Jesus ABC: Another old book with delightful illustrations.

One Tiny Baby: This is another simplified Christmas story. Mary has been asking a lot of questions about Christmas and I’m hoping these books will help bring the story down to something she can understand a little better.

These are the books that are going to start out in our basket. I have more to add through out Advent as we read them together.