We are really enjoying our advent study, Truth in Tinsel. Today we completed Day Seven. I completely lucked out at Target the day before Thanksgiving. I found a super slim, inexpensive tree on display, but there were no more in stock. I found the nicest lady to help me. She sold me the floor model at a discount. I don't have to put it together AND it's cheaper??? YAY!!!!! Pinch me!
I had $25 worth of Target gift cards that I earned from special bonus buys over the past few weeks, so I cashed those in and my little tree ended up costing me $3. It fits perfectly in our entryway, and it is now one of my very favorite Christmas decorations!!! Penny wanted to model the tree for you....
I looked at several Advent options and WOW, there are some wonderful ones to choose from. I liked the Jesse Tree idea, so I knew I wanted something along those lines. When I found Truth in Tinsel I knew it would be a great place for us to start. I feel Emma is on the upper end age-wise, but still very appropriate. There is a lot of flexibility in how you use this program. When you purchase the download you get 24 daily devotionals leading up to Christmas, and each study has a corresponding ornament. There are paper ornaments available to color and cut out, and also suggestions for simple craft ornaments if you prefer. Naturally, we chose the crafts. ;-)
I am using some of the suggestions given in Truth in Tinsel for our ornaments. I also browsed Pinterest as well as the isles of Hobby Lobby to come up with a few of our own ideas. (Out of respect for copyright, I will not share specific stories, scriptures, or instructions for the ornaments that come directly from Truth in Tinsel.) I spent quite a bit of time over Thanksgiving break assembling little ornament kits. I knew without a doubt that in order for this to work on a daily basis during December, all the work would need to be done in advance. It also proved quicker and easier to have one big, messy blowout day when I got ALL the craft supplies out at once and divided everything up. I put all the necessary pieces AND supplies for each ornament in a brown paper sack, and tied them up with twine and little labels. READY! Each day we read a portion of Scripture, discuss the story, and then open our bag to see what we get to make. So far she is LOVING it, and so am I!
So, without further ado, on to the fun part!
Day One: Candlelight
Day Two: A Crown
Day Three: Zechariah
It was HARD to come up with an idea for this one. I found a cardboard disk ornament and that was the only thing I put in the sack for day three. I told her she could use whatever supplies she wanted to make a Zechariah (who couldn't speak). She chose to draw a simple face with puffy paint.
Day Four: Angel
Day Five: Mary
Perhaps we should have taken it a little easy with the colored Sharpies. Mary looks a tad.....bright.
She is a wooden peg doll. Her face is painted with a flesh colored craft acrylic. Her body is wrapped in variegated yarn. Her (very blonde) hair is also yarn. (Wish I had brown yarn in my stash!) Head covering is a small scrap of fabric. Face.......that's an original design. ;-)
These ornaments are NOT PERFECT. It is super important to me that Emma get to make them, or participate in making them as much as possible. To me part of the charm and sentiment is that these look like a first grader did them.
Case in point.....Miss Mary.
Day Six: Mary and Elizabeth
I found this burlap covered heart ornament and cut out felt shapes to glue on it. I embroidered the hair faces ahead of time. Emma glued the shapes together following a pattern I drew, and then tied the ribbon. (A little crafting tip: Aleene's tacky glue is great for crafts with ribbon, sequins, gems, fabric, or felt. Hot glue is excellent, but not very kid friendly. Elmer's is NOT good on felt.)
Day Seven: Song
I found this clear plastic ball ornament "for a song" (no pun intended) at Hobby Lobby. (I think they were 3 for a dollar.) I printed an image of antiqued sheet music and cut it into narrow strips. We rolled each strip snugly and dropped it into the ball. Then, we tied with baby ric-rac and added a little embellishment. I really like this one.
Our little tree at the end of week one. A lovely start!!