Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Advent Tree

There are so many different ways to use the Advent devotional in family worship. I wanted to show you one of the best things our family has done to try to keep Christ in the midst of our Christmas celebrations.

Many years ago, I made a careful study of the Advent scriptures that I thought would be the most meaningful to our family. Though not strictly traditional, I chose twenty-four scriptures that focus on the redemptive Plan of Salvation. (Several of these scriptures come from the Book of Mormon, which our family testifies is a second witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.) Then I used Sculpey clay to make a small ornament that would represent each of these scriptures. You will notice that I had to be pretty creative in my representations - you may not be able to recognize some of these items at a glance, but my children quickly learned to identify the symbol and the teaching that each small object portrays. We also have a small tabletop tree to hang the ornaments on and it sits next to the dining room table during the Christmas season. It really isn’t big enough, or sturdy enough, and every year I try to remember to get a bigger one.

The intention is to have a devotional reading each night and hang the ornament for that day. Honestly, we sometimes don’t have the time in the evening, so some nights we have to double up. There have been some years, when our older boys were teenagers, when we just had to catch everything up on Sunday. But it is still a special tradition to read through these scriptures and to remember the gifts and promises of a loving Heavenly Father.

 1.  yellow singing stars - Job 38:4-7  (morning stars sang together)
2.  globe with clouds - Abraham 4:24-26, Genesis 1 (the creation of the world)
3.  blue stars with moon - Psalms 8 (the Creation Psalm)
4.  apple - Alma 12:22-24 (the fall of Adam)
5.  baby - Luke 2:7-16, Mosiah 3:5 (birth of the Savior)

 After we recognize the birth of our Savior, we take several days to read about His attributes through the “I AM” scriptures.

6.  candle - John 8:12 (I AM the light of the world)
7.  crook - John 10:11 (I AM the good shepherd)
8.  vine - John 15:1 (I AM the vine)
9.  bread - John 6:51 (I AM the bread of life)
10.  door - John 10:9 (I AM the door)
11.  Greek signs - Revelation 22:13 (I AM alpha and omega)

 Then we pick up again with the atoning death of the Savior,  and the assurance of a redemptive plan through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

12.  cross - 1 Ne 11:32-33 (death of the Savior)
13.  empty tomb - Matt 28:1-7 (resurrection of the Savior)
14.  blackness - Isa 60:2 - (apostasy foretold)
15.  angel with trumpet - Revelation 14:6-7 (promise of the restoration)
16.  milk & honey - 2 Ne 26:25 (promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ)

The remaining scriptures help us feel the joy of continued expectation and promise made to the followers of Jesus - to us, to our family! I really love all of these scriptures.

17.  eagle feather - Isa 40:31 (promise of strength as wings of eagles)
18.  hand - Isa 49:15-16 (promise to be remembered in the palm of His hand)
19.  sheaf of wheat - D&C 31:5 (promise to be laden with sheaves)
20.  sheep - Psalm 95:6-7 (promise to be the sheep of His hand)

 21.  trumpet - D&C 45:39-59 (the second coming of Jesus Christ)
22.  book - Revelation 20:12 (promise of a name in the Book of Life)
23.  crown - 1 Pet 5:4 (promise of the Crown of Life)
24.  harp - Isa 35:10 (we will bring songs of everlasting joy)

I would love to hear what you all do with Advent or how you use scriptures or symbols of Christ during the Christmas season.

Miss Abigail is our last child, so this Advent set may go with her as she begins her own family. I have had vague plans to make such a set for my daughters-in-law, but I don’t want to interfere with their own ideas and plans. I’m still kind of new at being a mother-in-law and each of these girls is capable, accomplished and creative. But I can certainly remember having so little time, when my children were small. For a more mature girl, I think that some kind of Advent teaching would be the perfect item to prepare ahead and save in a hope chest for her future home.

Shared on Raising Homemakers Wednesday Link-up


  1. What a great idea. As I read your post I told my husband that I would love to start this.
    Also I think that your daughter-in-law would love it! I know I would love it if my mother-in-law did.
    We have a Christmas book that has a story, scripture, and song for each day. We also have started doing one Christmas thing a day. We started with writing Christmas cards :)

  2. I have loved your advent tree from the first time I saw it. Your study of the scriptures and how you have them organized really bring the focus of Christ to Christmas. You really are amazing. I love being your daughter-in-law and getting to learn from you.

  3. What a beautiful set! I would love to try something like this. Thank you for sharing your beautiful idea.
    For now our advent tradition is using a paper tree and ornaments with scriptures on them that we got out of the Friend last December. My children love finding the spot to match the ornament on the tree.

  4. Thanks, ladies, for visiting! I'm glad to pass along an inspiring idea. Love you back, Marquette!

  5. I've been trying to come up with a good way to make our Christmas more Christ centered and when I read this post I realized that an Advent activity would be the perfect thing. After a few days spent getting it all put together, we finally got started and it's been fun to watch it come together. Thanks for the inspiration Mom!


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