This is a tradition that has been four years in the making, so we are excited to see it finally come to fruition!

Before we were married, Keith and I read a book called "Treasuring God in Your Traditions" and it really made us stop and think about how we wanted to celebrate or if we wanted to celebrate certain holidays. The premise of the book is that every family will have traditions, and our goal as parents is to find, create, and/or maintain God-centered and God-honoring traditions. On the flip side, the goal is to ditch the ones that are not so.Christmas was one of the holidays that we knew we wanted to celebrate but we weren't entirely sure how. So, through much prayer and discussion, this is how we decided to celebrate Advent!

Since this time of year is a focus on the anticipation of the coming Christ, we decided that every day during Advent we would read a scripture that speaks of anticipating the coming Messiah. Along with this, we have decided that our Christmas tree would be a picture representation of the same thing. Instead of traditional decorations, we decided to use Isaiah 1:18 as our theme. Every year we decorate our tree with red ribbon and make snowflakes (complete with cookie decorating and hot chocolate!) to decorate our tree to represent that "Though your sins are as scarlet they will be white as snow." We put 25 snowflakes to coincide with the 25 days of advent.

Every day, starting December 1 and ending December 25, we read a scripture and sing a hymn or Christmas song. After this, we take off one of the snowflakes and put on an ornament that is a pictorial representation of the scripture we just read. We hope that by doing this our children will recall the scriptures and promises of the coming Messiah every time they look at the tree! This is the first year we have been able to get ornaments and set up a tree so we are excited to see how this works.

Here are some pictures of us setting up and decorating our tree in preparation of Advent:

During this time as we remember the amazing love that God demonstrated to us in giving us Himself, may He be our focus in all that we do. Amen.