About the Author

Sarah Mae has a past that would be her present if it werenโ€™t for Jesus. A blogger, author, and co-author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, sheโ€™s currently writing The Complicated Heart, a book for broken-hearted lovers of Jesus. Learn more at @thecomplicatedheart on Instagram or...

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  1. We also do the Jesse Tree. I love your Advent Calendar idea. Last night I found a store-bought Advent calendar that someone gave us last year, to use this year. It was a simple countdown to Dec. 25 and I thought, “that’s it?” I want to teach my children more than 25 days to Christmas…I, like you, want to teach them the REAL reason for the season!

  2. I love the Jesse Tree and Advent Calendars with meanings. Thanks for sharing yours for some fresh ideas.
    Incidentally, we don’t do Santa either. My children are now 20, 18 and 7. It’s never been a problem for us, but, man, has it been a BIG problem with others. Most we don’t even know. I’m going to read your story about why you don’t do Santa now.

  3. THANK YOU dear friend!! I’ve been wanting to do this for the first time this year, but didn’t know where to start!!! You have laid it out perfectly for me! I’m going to create it today and get going on it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll post pics on my blog in the near future and direct people back here to help them, as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ ((Hugs))

  4. Wonderful ideas! Thanks you so much! We also do a Jesse Tree (Ann’s devotional to be exact). This year we are working on homemade ornaments to replace the ones we’ve been doing. Each child is making their own so that some day they’ll each have a set of Jesse Tree ornaments to take with them for their own households.
    Blessings,
    Amy @ Raising Arrows

  5. Somehting to consider. Giving up mocha’s may seem noble way to redirect a few dollars, but to feed children in developing countries in the long haul, it makes a lot more sense (cents!) to buy your coffee from companies like Counter Culture Coffee and others who are transparent in their direct trade/fair trade sourcing of coffee beans–families that may only have a few trees, that produce maybe 100# of marketable crop will go further to feeding those children and keep people as productive members of the global economy instead of dependent on handouts. Plus, it might keep someone you know working, and business owner in position to continuing to provide the service and product you enjoy. That is also giving back when you are faithful in your patronage.

  6. I love these fresh ideas! Putting love in action is far better than worrying about wish lists or reading the legend of the candy cane.

  7. Yes, Thank You!! I remember being inspired by your Advent celebrations last year… I’m so excited to set up a Jesse Tree!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Great ideas! We did thankful trees in November and each leaf had something we are thankful for in a family member. I wonder if the advent calender idea could be used each month with a different theme… giving, kindness, helpfulness, etc?! Obviously it wouldn’t be called an advent calender, but I love your idea and think it would be a great thing to do all year round!!!!

  9. We are making a Jesse Tree for the first time this year. I loved the idea of so much meaning in the days leading up to Christmas. We have never done an Advent calendar because it did just seem like a countdown without any meaning, but I LOVE your ideas on how to turn it into gifts for Jesus!

  10. We are doing an advent wreath and Jesse Tree this Christmas. I actually made our ornaments out of Sculpey clay this year for our Jesse Tree. We love these family traditions.

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