Christmas isn’t just a day, but a season, this was the message from one of the ambassadors who attended the Parliamentary Christmas Party at the New Otani Hotel on Thursday, December 4th. She spoke of the first “Christmas” when Jesus was born and the angels brought the message to the shepherds of “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14.
When my children were in elementary school, a group from our community made Jesse tree ornaments. We each got the book, The Advent Jesse Tree – Devotions for Children and Adults to prepare for the coming of the CHRIST CHILD at CHRISTMAS by Dean Meador Lambert. There were 25 people and each of person made 25 of the same ornaments. Then we had a party so each person could get one of each of the ornaments. I made similar ornaments several years later with a group of young moms from the church. During our Sunday school time we brought in the materials and all worked on the ornaments together. In the end, each family had a set to take home and share with their children.
This year, a favorite blogger/author of mine, Ann Voskamp published a new advent book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. Several years ago she published The Greatest Gift. There are many other wonderful books and calendars that can be used to prepare our hearts for Christmas. Many of our classes are sharing an Advent book or ornaments with their students. I have taken the ornaments for the Advent Jesse Tree along with pictures from The Jesse Advent study and free printable Advent set to create a Jesse Tree on the bulletin board by my office. I know it isn’t Christmas yet, but since our last day of school is December 17th, I wanted those who look at our Jesse tree to see the love story that God has been writing since the creation of the world. If you’ve never seen the connection between the stories in the Old testament and the coming of Jesus, take a look at a Jesse tree.
Each of the elementary students has a star with their photo that they decorated. The candy canes have the names of the elementary teaching staff. It is fun to watch the students stop to look for their photo. I’ve also used the Nativity scene characters by our “Merry CHRISTmas” tree.
My prayer for each family represented on our tree is that God will bring peace in your home and that you will be able to share that peace with friends and family. Here are some ideas to extend your Christmas season:
- Take time to think about the love story behind the first Christmas.
- Listen to some Christmas carols, at a concert perhaps? The Elementary Christmas program will be Wednesday, December 17th from 10:30 am in the auditorium. The high school concert is Friday, December 5th from 7 pm in the gymnasium and the middle school concert will be December 12th from 7 pm in the auditorium.
- Go and look at the “illumination” or lights that decorate many stores and neighborhoods.
- Invite someone to your home for a cup of coffee or go out with someone and treat them to a cup of coffee.
- Give to someone who can’t repay the favor.
Have a blessed Christmas season.