Advent Traditions

Advent is my favorite season.  Yes, I love it even more than the Christmas season.  I love the anticipation of it.  I enjoy the weather outside (cold) while hunkering down in our (warm) house.  I like planning for, ordering, and making gifts for family and friends.  I like tea and coffee and all manner of hot drinks.  (Except hot toddies.  Those drinks are so gross even whiskey can’t save them.)  But most especially, I treasure all the traditions our family has developed.

Unfortunately time got away from me, and now Advent is half over.  Also, people smarter than me have written really nice posts about their Advent traditions.  If you need inspiration, go read Cari and Dwija.

I will simply list our basic traditions and get on with the awesome book recommendations I have planned for my next post.

1) A tradition since I was a child:

At at dinner each night we light our Advent wreath and sing the week’s verse and chorus of this song:

minus the uniforms and adorable British accents.  Although I’m seriously considering adding the accent to our version.  (The last minute or so of this video is a different song.) You can find the lyrics here: Advent Candle Song.

2) A tradition we started a few years back: We decorate slowly…  The tree goes up the first few days of Advent, followed by lights a week or so later, followed by the ornaments and stockings in the last week before Christmas. And the baby Jesus doesn’t appear in the manger until Christmas Day.

Here is a video made by my family of origin several years back.  (No, I am not in it.  Disappointing, I know.) It features both my parents, my granny, 4 of my 7 brothers and all 3 of my sisters.  They are decorating the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, which has become their family tradition since I moved away. If you like awesome people doing dorky things, fast motion anything, or Christmas carols (punk or traditional) you will like this video.

I posted this video on my Facebook yesterday, so I apologize if you have already seen it.

3) A new tradition: I finally finally got around to making a Jesse Tree this year.  It’s nothing special, just some sticks and pre-printed ornaments.

No, really.  I’m not being modest.  It is.  See?

Told you: sticks and pre-printed ornaments.  The silver snakeskin walls\paper really make it pop though, don’t you think?  (Classy wine glass filled with high quality wine: optional.)

Each night Kevin reads a Bible verse related to the daily ornament and one of the kids puts the it on the tree.  (This photo was taken a couple weeks ago.  We have lots more ornaments now.)

4) We throw out the everyday literature curriculum and read some really special books during Advent.  You’ll have to wait until my next post to see which ones, though.

I hope you (continue to) have a Blessed Advent!


  1. Your tree is ahead of ours – at least you have branches. I printed our ornaments and we tape them to the bookcase. There’s not even a tree shaped piece of paper behind them (not enough room). But the kids don’t mind and the important thing is the Scripture, right?

    • Kansas Mom, I love it! Yes, the important thing is the scripture, not the way it looks. Unfortunately I often get tripped up by my own perfectionism. Not this year, though. Happy Advent!