Tuesday, December 16, 2014


This is the first year that we have participated in Advent as a family. I was well into my pregnancy when Ann Voskamp announced her Advent devotional for families called Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. As you are well aware, I'm sure, I deeply admire Ann's writing so I pre-ordered the book immediately. It arrived just a few days after I was home with Isaiah and I thought I was really crazy, but the book is so pretty so I determined we would still use it.

Ann describes her book best:

"Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is like your own larger-than-life Advent Calendar, opening up to 25 wondrous stories that tell the family tree of Jesus, from Creation to His Coming.

Because if we want our Christmas tree to really stand full of wonder & real meaning? The tree we need to understand & be astonished by —-  is the wonder of the family tree of Jesus! Because this is your family’s real family tree, your real story.

Each day’s story has its very own ornament, one for each day of Advent — all unwrapping a bit more of a story that’s far better than the greatest fairy tale you’ve ever read —- because this story is all true.  So come Christmas day — your kids, and your Christmas tree with all 25 ornaments, will be telling the full love story of  Jesus’ coming, right from the very beginning!"

On the day we were to start Advent (we started a couple days early before Dec. 1 because we will be traveling some) I was busy printing, matting, and stringing THREE sets of ornaments.

Every evening we have gathered for our reading and ornament coloring and hanging. This is real life right here...
The book is illustrated beautifully. All of the ornament pictures are on the front of the book and Aliza goes through them each night reciting the story.
The children color their ornament on the floor while  Mommy or Daddy reads the devotional. After each devotional there is a question to discuss and suggested activities for the day. We have not done either of those things this year. More real life--sometimes the children are a bit wound up and don't listen--or they are squabbling over colored pencils--or there is some other type of drama. We can grow into the questions and activities as the children mature.

Our tree is getting heavy with ornaments as we add 75 over the course of the month.
It does help that Josiah is placing all of his on one branch so that they stay in order.

Our tree is not beautiful in from a design standpoint, but it is beautiful to us because we see God's love for us every time we look at it.

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