Celebrating Advent

I’m pretty much an easy mark for all things Christmas. The music began November 1st and the tree went up not long after that. Then there’s all the other trees and garlands and candles … You get the idea.

But I must say, I told Steve the other day that as much as I love decking the halls and the coziness of the season, those things are not what I’m really looking forward to this year.

Ann Voskamp's Greatest Gift
Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift

This. This is actually what I feel such an excitement about. It’s really not just about the book either, though I highly recommend it. It’s the walking through Scripture to see the big picture of Christ’s coming. This seeing Christ’s heart for mine and how His coming has given purpose to every one of my days.

As written on the book jacket, “Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind, from Adam to the Messiah, with each day’s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn’t blurred past you but your heart’s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for.”

The book comes with downloadable ornaments to print out and hang on a Jesse tree each day in December as we journey to the coming of Christ on Christmas morning. Wanting to add this to our advent preparation each year, I decided to use wood for our ornaments.

I wrote this post a few years ago, but wanted to share it today, with some pictures and updated instructions for how we made the advent ornaments that are included with the purchase of Ann Voskamp’s book. Just in case you decide you want to join in the preparation for His coming this year…

Our family's The Greatest Gift ornament collection
Our family’s The Greatest Gift ornament collection


I picked up two pieces of 8″ x 36″ x 3/8″ thick beech wood from Hobby Lobby that Steve and I ripped down the middle and then cut into 4″ squares. Technically, he gave me a quick lesson on the circular saw and the “you go girl” pep talk to convince me that I couldn’t really mess it up. A circular saw is quite positively NOT the recommended tool for this project, but it is what we had, and therefore what we used. We did add some tape and drew our cutting line on it in hopes that the wood wouldn’t split too much. It mostly worked.

In the end some of the blocks kind of looked more gnawed at as opposed to sawed, but it’s all good. As it turns out, I rather like the imperfection of it all. They’re a little more rugged and even authentic when I think about the humble entrance the King of Kings made into this world. It just seems to fit.

wood, mod podge and paper print outs
wood, mod podge and paper print outs

But, I digress …. After the squares were cut I sanded the rough edges off and whitewashed them with some leftover white paint from the garage. I thinned it with some water and painted 2 coats on each block. I printed the 4 x 4 ornaments onto card stock and used a thin layer of Mod Podge on the back of each paper and the front of each block. There were a few bubbles to press out once the card stock adhered to the wood.

drilling holes
drilling holes

As soon as they were dry, I inked them with some StazOn in a medium brown. Somehow I convinced Steve to drill the holes at the top. I was a bit concerned about getting the wrong angle or drilling too close to the edge. I really didn’t want to mess them up and have to start all over on any of them. I opted for the rustic look of a jute twine loop to hang them. They usually hang on our staircase garland until we read each day’s devotion and move them to the tree.

Awaiting Advent
Awaiting Advent

However your family chooses to celebrate, I pray this holiday season brings great joy to you and yours as you prepare for His coming.

About Beth Moore

A Christ-follower, wife, mom to 4, lifestyle blogger, seamstress and seeker of daily glimpses of God's grace and redemption.

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