Today our Advent study was on the Christmas tree and it's origins. We learned how the shape of the tree can remind us of the Holy Trinity and that the top of the tree always points us to Jesus. We even learned about tree skirts and how they were originally used to catch melting wax from candles placed on the Christmas tree. We also read one of our treasured Christmas books The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston.
We also finished making cards and packing a box for the soldier we adopted for Christmas. She is currently serving overseas and does not normally get any mail from the states. We are hoping our box somehow brightens her day. We included in it treats for her to share with others in her unit. We try to focus each week on a service project for others to make sure we keep the focus on "giving" rather than "receiving" during the Christmas season.
Tonight I enjoyed time with friends at our Homeschool Christmas Party. There were about twenty-five women in attendance and the gift exchange was the highlight of the evening. I loved the concept of praying before purchasing a gift that the present you chose would be matched with the person who God had intended it for. From other women who attended the party last year I was amazed by the stories that came out of the gift exchange. This year was no disappointment. I ended up receiving a gift from a friend, whose husband baptized my husband and I this past August, she chose a beautiful metal frame with the letters JOY cutout on the side. I loved the bible verse she chose to go with the gift and the fact that she mentioned how real joy is "Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last" which happens to be something the kids and I say all the time. It was so fun to see the gifts all the women received and how each woman knew the special meaning and why God had intended that gift for her.