Advent means “coming” and lasts all through December, and for some, until the day of Epiphany on January 6th. It’s a time to celebrate the coming of the Messiah two thousand years ago, to celebrate the coming of Christmas morning when we remember his birth , and to celebrate that Jesus will come again some day in the future. It’s a time of anticipation, and to that end, my family uses many different traditions to celebrate Advent in a way that will build the anticipation throughout the entire month.
One thing we do is decorating little by little over the course of the month instead of decorating all at once. Naturally, the first thing we put up is our Christmas tree, which we put up on December 1st. We even add ornaments to our tree little by little. We add some of them, wait a few days, add some more, and repeat.
All the ornaments on my tree tie together thematically, in a theme best called “Jesus is…” Everything on my tree will complete the sentence “Jesus is ___________.” We use a lot of color symbolically. Here are the colors we use on our tree:
Lights: Jesus is the light of the world.
Clear and iridescent ornaments: We are called to be like Jesus, and reflect his light.
Gold: Jesus is our treasure.
Silver: Jesus is precious.
Red: Jesus is our sacrifice.
Pink: Jesus is love.
Purple: Jesus is king.
Blue: Jesus is the everlasting water.
Green: Jesus is everlasting life.
We also added the angel topper because the girls
wanted to. Again, I only moved an ornament or
two. I let them have free reign on the decorating.
And that’s hard for me!
Some of our ornaments are symbolic through their shape or meaning. We have angels (Who announced “Jesus is born!”,) bells (which are used to announce good news and “Jesus is the good news”,) and nativity scenes and stars (because “Jesus was born and he is our Savior”.) We also add candy canes (Jesus is our shepherd) and this year we’ll be adding little bunches of cellophane-wrapped candy and cellophane wrapped Christmas cookies (which will mostly coordinate through color). Yum!
Add the bells, the olive wood nativity scenes,
and the few breakable ornaments (at the top!)
We are still working on the tree. We haven’t added the edibles yet. Actually, we won’t add the Christmas cookies until about a week before Christmas. We also use Adorenaments, which we will start adding to the tree tomorrow. There are 12 of them, and we add these on the last twelve days before Christmas. If you’ve never seen these, they are really great!! Actually, we had these before our “Jesus is…” theme, and these are one thing that helped shape our Christmas tree tradition into what it is now.
I can’t wait to see the final product, it’s going to be so exciting!