I've wanted to blog for several days but unfortunately, there was sickness in our house. Vomiting was involved. Enough said.
On with the pictures!
This is my Advent tree:
It's a bit... odd looking, seeing as the lights are purple rather than the normal festive Christmas-y colors. I even had one neighbor tell me that my tree looked rather "eerie" this year. It's amazing how something as simple as NOT having a Christmas tree up yet can change my mood. As confirmed "Christmas-a-holic," I normally want everything up and decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving. Having an Advent tree in the corner instead has tempered the mood somewhat, and been a powerful reminder that we're not celebrating... yet.
And here's a close-up of the lights and a few of the ornaments:
(I thought you'd appreciate the lego tucked carefully into the branches. Ah, the joys of a toddler tree!)
And now, the ornaments! Like I mentioned earlier, I made these 10 years ago, when Sean was a year old. (In fact, I have fond memories of hauling my rather pregnant self onto the couch with stacks of felt next to me, making these as I was watching TV.... gotta redeem the time somehow, you know?) Wanting something that could be snatched off the tree, played with, and not broken, I took some felt, some rustic looking twine, and some stuffing and tried to create some fairly familiar Jesse Tree symbols:
The bread and the wine:
The key of David:
Jonah and the whale (Isn't he fun? Yes, he actually does ride in the whale's mouth... and yes, he's attached to the whale with string so we don't lose him!):
Noah's ark (much to my great shame, I've told myself every year "I need to finish poor Noah!" but never have. Look at Jonah in the previous picture and you'll see what he's SUPPOSED to look like... Maybe I'll make the poor guy a beard this weekend)
This is supposed to be a seashell with water pouring out of it (symbolizing baptism and John the Baptist...).
Stars (I think I made 10 of these) and apples (also 10) with a bite taken out of them (symbolizing the fall of man and the "happy fault that merited for us so great a Savior.")
...and finally, the crown, symbolizing both David and ultimately Our Lord. This one hangs from the top of the tree.
We also have the Jesse Tree that I made that hangs on our kitchen door. This is how it looks on Christmas Eve. Every night we hang one of the ornaments (made with construction paper and laminated at the local copy shop) and tell a bit more of the salvation story, finishing up with the O Antiphons up on top.
Little bit of interesting trivia... the O Antiphons, which are some of the titles of Jesus, when written in Latin, are:
O Sapienta (wisdom)
O Adonai (Lord)
O Radix Jesse (root of Jesse)
O Clavis David (Key of David)
O Oriens (Rising Sun/Morning star)
O Rex Gentium (King of the nations)
O Emmanuel (God with us)
If you look at the first letter of each antiphon (from bottom to top) it reads ERO CRAS, which means "Tomorrow, I will come." I love that! We sing all these antiphons all throughout Advent, and Our Lord answers with "Tomorrow, I will come."
So there you have it! A bit late, but I finally posted it nevertheless!