How We Celebrate Advent

We have celebrated Advent for over 11 years now. I do wish we had started when our older 2 children were little, though. Celebrating Advent leading up to Christmas is a great way for families to keep Christ in Christmas.

About 5 or 6 years ago, we added a Jesse Tree to our Advent celebration. With devotions, and ornaments added to the Jesse Tree daily, this is a great way to involve the kids in the events and history leading up to Christs birth. This is the book we use:

The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas
The Advent Jesse Tree gives the book owner permission to copy and use the illustrations in the book on their tree. They also have a list of ornaments that you need to go along with the devotions in the book. You can look around your house and through the ornaments you already own to find some to use. So no need to go out and buy a lot of ornaments. You also don’t need a special tree. If you have woods nearby, you can find a little tree to use. Some people like to use a long branch hung on the wall to hang the ornaments on. There are lots of frugal options available.


Our Advent Jesse Tree in the dining room


All the ornaments waiting….I love the giant toy grapes and the stuffed camel….


Drawings from book we colored, David’s sling shot I made


Beaded Angel made by my husbands Aunt, wheat that grew in our garden,  a scroll made with toothpicks

In our celebration of Advent, we also light the candles on our Advent Wreath.

Our Advent wreath in the living room

If you don’t have an Advent wreath yet, you don’t have to go right out and buy one. You can use any wreath you have and put candle holders you already have inside. Like I did. :)

If you don’t have a wreath, you can get evergreen branches outside, or make a wreath out of wood. Or even just put the candles in a circle with the white one in the center. You can start celebrating Advent for just the cost of the candle sticks, using one of the free Advent readings linked below.
This year, I found a good deal on an Advent Candle Set on, so I ordered those. They should be here tomorrow. So I’m using last years candles for tonight.

We have used these three books for our Advent readings since we first started celebrating Advent. The kids love these books. Ok, we adults do, too! Each book is a continuing story that lasts the whole Advent season, with a devotion at the end of each days story.

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent Bartholomew's Passage: A Family Story for Advent Tabitha's Travels: A Family Story for Advent

Jotham’s Journey,         Bartholomew’s Passage,        Tabitha’s Travels

The three kids are in all three books, which helps to make them like old friends. This year, we are reading Tabitha’s Travels. In several parts of the book, she gets to meet up with Jotham & Bartholomew. Our youngest is 10 this year, so I hope we still have a few more years of reading these stories before they think they are too old for them. Hopefully they never do! This year, I let Calen pick which book to read. He’ll be 18 next Christmas. Who knows what he’ll be doing next year.

We light the days candles and read the story with only the candles and the Christmas lights on. We do this last thing before they kids go to bed. The first night of Advent, we always drink egg nog while reading. We drink it again while doing the Christmas Eve reading. If there is any left, we have it on Christmas morning with our traditional homemade cinnamon role breakfast.


From the warm family gatherings in the candlelight living room, to the learning about Christ together, Advent has been a great addition to our families Christmas celebration.

Here are some links to help your family get started celebrating Advent.

Advent in Church and Cultural Tradition

12 Days of Advent

Advent readings crafts and activities


This post contains affiliate links. If you follow the links and purchase something, I will earn a few cents. Thank you for that! :)

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  1. […] have what we do for Advent and some of my favorite Advent links in a separate post. Stop by and see what we […]

  2. […] started this past Sunday. We enjoy celebrating Advent as a family. Visit my Advent post to see how we […]