December 1, 2008

Advent Basket Day 1

I haven't unpacked my Advent wreath or Advent basket yet, but my thoughts are there. We don't really have 'kids' at home anymore to be doing these with. But the 'kid' ME (and Monte) will still carry on traditions. It's just one of those things that help remind my heart. 

Over the years I've been attracted to all the Advent calendars, or things with drawers or doors, but most of them don't have a lot of meaningfulness. They're more like eating Cracker Jacks and seeing what the prize is (I saved the ones from my childhood - those were great prizes. They're in my Barbie case). So I made my own, maybe 25 years ago? I'm going to make more soon, so need to see if the same Hobby-craft store I found the miniatures at still is there and the same.

So which do you choose to do for Advent? A friend of mine years ago had bought an Advent thing at a craft show. I had her open each days gift bag and tell me what was in each and what was written. That's what I made my Advent Basket from. Later I bought a Jesse Tree booklet at a 2nd-hand store and we sometimes did stuff with it. And then a pastor friend had one that had things to learn - like the symbols representing the names of God...

The Jesse Tree idea is based on Isaiah 11:1 - a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. It begins from the Creation story, to Adam and Eve, the flood, to Abraham ... all the key Old Testament stories to the New Testament nativity story. It begins on November 27.

I'll lead you through my Advent Basket each day. We'd all pull out the calico bags tied closed with ric-rac, each days date was embroidered, and we'd feel them, trying to remember and guess what was in them. Over the years we had them memorized, and feeling them, would remember their story.

Keep your soul diligently, never forgetting what you've seen God doing, lest they (the stories) slip from your heart ... Deut 4:9

Today's bag has a quarter: 25 days till Christmas! We told the kids that there's 25 pennies in a quarter. We'd read Mark 12:41-44. We'd ask, "Who gave the best gift"?

Oh God, I desire to give extravagantly - giving my all!

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