Advent Event, Day 3: Decorating With Intent

Decorations create the mood in a home, and can be used symbolically to enhance our Advent celebrations. There is nothing inherently evil about snowmen or reindeer, don’t get me wrong. Personally, I prefer not to use ornaments that make people think of secular Christmas traditions instead of a Savior who was born to die for our sins.

I’d like to challenge you to rethink your decorations as you pull them out this year. What do they bring to the table? How do they detract from the overall atmosphere? Consider each piece, why you’re bringing it out, and what it represents.

Finding and using decorations and tree ornaments that keep the focus on Christ can be a little difficult. Here’s a few suggestions.

Start with the “obvious” Christian decorations.

Using your nativity scene and advent wreath will get you off to a good start. You should be able to find some tree ornaments with little nativity scenes – if not at your local store or Christian bookstore – you can find things online, such as these Jim Shore nativity ornaments or some of these Waterford Crystal ornaments.

You can also find angel ornaments, tree toppers, and tabletop decorations fairly easily. They’re popular enough they come in a variety of colors and styles – you don’t have to buy one that looks country cottage if you prefer plain and simple.

The phrases “Peace, Joy and Love” are popular enough you should be able to find decorations with these words on them. Use them to refer to THE Peace, THE joy and THE love that God gave us by sending his son for us.

Find symbolism in other shapes and materials.

  • Star: Jesus is our Guide
  • Bell: Jesus is the Good News
  • Evergreen Tree: Jesus is Everlasting
  • Wreath (Circular): Jesus Is, Was, and Will Be
  • Sheep: He is our Shepherd
  • Candy cane: For the J, the shepherd’s staff, and the candy cane story.
  • Lights: Jesus is the light.
  • Icicles, glass, etc: Reflect ‘the light.’
  • Wood: Jesus was a carpenter
  • Clay: We are the clay, God is the potter.

Find symbolism through color.

  • Red: Jesus is our Sacrifice
  • Yellow: Jesus is our Joy
  • Green: Jesus is Life
  • Blue: Jesus Is the Living Water
  • Purple: Jesus Is Our King
  • Pink: Jesus is Love
  • Gold/Silver: Jesus is our Treasure

Make your own decorations.

With the above themes in mind, you can make your own decorations. In the past we’ve made our own beaded icicles, the kids have made little sheep out of yarn and black felt, and we’ve made various shapes out of clay and cookie cutters. Be creative. Here’s a few links to get you started.

Choosing tree ornaments and decorations with symbolism not only help to add meaning while decorating and making things festive, it’s a good exercise in seeing Jesus for who he really is. He really IS our shepherd and our sacrificial lamb; he really is love and peace and our joy; he is the light and we are called to reflect the light; he is the bread of life, and the living water; he is our King and our TREASURE. As we pull out the decorations and put them up, the kids and I talk about these things. It helps create the right mood and mindset. It helps us focus on Christ.

What decorations do you use to draw attention to Jesus during the holiday season? Has the way you’ve decorated changed over the years? Will it change this year?

Amber

Don’t forget to stop by Advent Event, link up with your own Advent ideas and traditions and enter to win in the giveaways. Comments on this post also earn additional entries. You can find more Advent information and ideas on my Holidays Celebrations page.

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