Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Traditions: Advent Tree

In our home, we try to bring the meaning of advent into our daily lives.  My favorite tradition is our Advent Tree (aka "Presents for Jesus").  This was inspired by a lenten cross my mother would put up every lent with a bowl of stickers next to it. The idea behind this is that when one of the children does something that is kind for someone else, is helpful, or makes a sacrifice for others - these are the presents that Jesus wants.  So, when they do these things, they get to take a "present" and place it under the "tree" or put an ornament on the tree.  The goal is to have as many presents under the tree and as many ornaments on the tree as possible - inspiring and rewarding selfless acts.

I made the tree out of Kraft Paper.  I just painted it with some leftover paint I had from another project.  This was a fun project for my then 5-yo to help.  I stapled it to our CORK DISPLAY BOARD, but you could just as easily tape one to the wall.

I love that this Advent Tree not only has a significant teaching and religious aspect to it, but it also makes a high impact eco-friendly decoration for the Christmas Season.  Everything can either be recycled or saved for next year's use.

You can make your own Advent Tree.  

How about you?  Do you have any Advent traditions that you love?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cornucopia Bulletin Board

My husband built me this wonderful bulletin board next to our kitchen table.

It is just some chair rail framed around some cork panels.  We use it to display our children's art work that they bring home from school.

During the holiday seasons, however, we like to dress it up a bit.  So, I got out my trusty roll of kraft paper and some paint.

The boys came up with fruits and vegetables and I free-handed them onto the paper for them to paint.

Sometimes it is hard to get this quality time together.  This time is what I was feeling most thankful for.

Look at all those amazing fruits and vegetables!

Meanwhile,  I painted the cornucopia.

A few snips and staples later we have a bulletin board cornucopia.  We can take it down and reuse for next year, too!