HEY, IT’S ALMOST ADVENT. If that idea makes you panic, weep, or throw up, then this is the post for you.
My sister, Abby Tardiff, put together a very, very easy Advent activity — as she says, “suitable for kids or grown-ups” — to help focus us on preparation for Christmas. You can use it either as an Advent chain or as Jesse Tree ornaments.
I couldn’t figure out how to put the actual images in this post, but if you click on the link below, you can download the the word document, which is seven pages in black and white.
And here are my sister’s directions:
FOR USE AS AN ADVENT CHAIN:
Cut on the lines to make strips, and use a stapler to form the strips into paper
chains, which represent the chains of sin and death. Then each day of
Advent, starting this Sunday, remove one strip and read it. Except for
December 19, which is from the Canticle of Zechariah, they are all Old
Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah.
[For a more colorful version, tape the strips to purple or pink strips of construction paper, depending on what week you're on. It's very nice for everyone, especially younger kids, to see the chain getting smaller and smaller as Christmas approaches; and little kids can take turns snipping the links and handing them to someone who can read.]
FOR USE AS JESSE TREE ORNAMENTS:
Each strip also has a Jesse Tree ornament (not related to the prophecy) on
it that you may color and cut out, and hang on a branch. The Jesse Tree
tells the history of Salvation, beginning with Creation and ending with
Emmanuel, God With Us. During Advent, we tell our children these stories,
because they tell why we need a Savior, and how God prepared the world for
The last seven ornaments are the “O Antiphons” taken from the evening
prayers of those days. You can read about them here.
The hymn “O Come, O Come
Emmanuel” is based on the O Antiphons.
Feel free to pass these around. I chose the prophecies, but I kiped
uncopyrighted images from various places on the net.