December Ideas: A "Twist" on Advent Dinner

Advent is a season in which we are invited to watch and wait for God’s arrival among us – making it a time of intense yearning and deep longing. It is a time filled with hope and anticipation.

Advent is the time where we take heed of the words of Jesus, “Therefore, keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” So during the days and weeks ahead, may we pay very careful attention, lest when he finally arrives, we miss him altogether.” -J. Branch

Once a week, we plan a family meal in honor of two things: Lighting the Advent Candle and hanging the week’s Jesse Tree Ornaments. Each activity preparing our hearts and re-centering our focus on Jesus.

Our Advent dinners are a little “fancier” (pronounce real country – Fain-see-er) than usual. I pull out Mamaw’s Christmas china and make a fun dessert (I rarely make dessert)! It is during dessert we read Scripture and let the boys decorate the Jesse Tree.


A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots. Isaiah 11:1

A Jesse Tree is decorated each week, with ornaments or objects that represent Old Testament events from Creation to the Birth of Jesus. The ornaments are traditionally handmade, but I’ve not had the time to make my own – so I bought a kit at the Christian bookstore. Maybe next year. Each ornament is added everyday during Advent, with explanations of the symbols and a brief verse of Scripture from the story represented. We find ourselves more consistant to hang several at one time.
And just to clarify that my family is completely cheesy, we finish our evening singing songs and dancing. Oh yes we do. Twistin’ for Jesus! THE BOYS LOVE THIS. LOVE IT. (so does mommy) Last Sunday, after we had finished the official festivities of the night, the older boys sat at the table singing songs together. Euphoric.


It is a sweet and unifying time. We plan on inviting a couple of families to join us for our dinner and dessert, as well. The boys have each chosen one family to come and join us. How fun! They are so excited!

“Advent is a season in which we watch and wait. It is a time in which we are filled with hope and with longing – hope that our Creator will finally intervene, and longing that he will enter into this world and set everything right once more; restoring all things to their creation intent.” -Jim Branch 2010

Oh, I couldn’t agree more. This is one thing I love so much about Christmas. So many things about it are a small taste of “all things set right.” Wholesome music. Family. Selfless, excited giving. Pulling the attention away from ourselves and gearing it towards others. Casting our eyes and energy to their appointed place – Jesus.

Does your family celebrate Advent?

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