Day 11

Advent Verses
Isaiah 53:5 tells us He will be pierced for our transgressions and that by His wounds we are healed.  1 Peter 2:24 echos that we are healed by His wounds.  John 19:34 describes some of the piercing He endured.

Jesse Tree

Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other.

Genesis 37:19 is an easy verse to memorize that quickly recalls the story of Joseph. For today's ornament, draw a tunic/coat and let children decorate it to resemble a 'coat of many colors'.  To make an ornament, find colorful fabric to cut and fold into the shape of a coat.

I can't recommend this site highly enough for easy to understand Jesse Tree devotions for children.

To Explore

Snowflakes!  Fascinating and fun, there is much to explore.

Snowflakes were first photographed by Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley.  These are two wonderful books that tell his story:

For beautiful, amazing photographs of snowflakes you will be amazed by these -


Want to skip the books and get straight to the facts? Visit the Snowflake Bentley Official Website

Why six sides?  This is a question that has existed for centuries!  I was very impressed with the chapter on snow in the book Rainbows, Snowflakes, and Quarks: Physics and the World Around Us, worth borrowing from library if you're able. This gave a humorous account of Kepler's fascination with the shape of the snowflake and acknowledged the beauty of God's hand in the details of the design of the world around us.

For an easier answer to the six sides question, visit these sites:
Christmas Around the World

Let's learn about China!

It is in China that we find the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains.  A legend about this mountain goes like this:
Once upon a time there were two mountain twins: Jade Dragon and Haba.  The brothers lived on panning in the Golden Sand River until an evil fiend usurped the river and the brothers bravely fought against him.  Jade Dragon wore out 13 swords in the battle, driving away the fiend...but not before Haba died in the struggle.  Jade Dragon continued to hold the 13 swords day and night to protect the people from future attack.  Over time, the two brothers became mountains and the 13 swords became 13 peaks. For more information on these peaks, including photographs, you can visit here. Parents, be aware that it refers to old earth views.

Though home to the world's 7th largest population of Christians Christians barely comprise even five percent of the population of China. This is a matter to take to heart in our studies today. Missionaries are banned and Christians are sporadically persecuted. Pray for China today. For more information on Christianity and China, visit Christians in China.

Because so few are Christian,  few citizens celebrate Christmas. Ironically, many Christmas decorations are made in China. Those who celebrate Christmas decorate with beautiful paper lanterns, lighting their houses and, less frequently, Christmas trees which they call Trees of Light. It is becoming more popular now, though Christmas celebrations were rare just a couple decades ago.

The Chines version of Santa Claus is known as Sheng dan lao ren 聖誕老人 (shèngdànlǎorén) and, instead of elves, he is often accompanied by his sisters, young women dressed in red and white skirts.The main winter festival in China is the Chinese New Year which does not take place until the end of January.  The celebration is officially known as the Spring Festival and resembles our Christmas holiday parties including gift giving, visiting, and feasting.  Fireworks are often seen.  An aspect of the Chinese New Year that is very important to many Chinese people is the worship of ancestors, making it vastly different from our celebrations as Christians. Read more about Christmas in China at Jackie Chan Kids.

To wish a Happy Christmas in Chinese, say 'Sheng Dan Kuai Le or 圣诞快乐'

Hands On
  • Catch a snowflake! We often save our Snowflake Unit Study for a day when it snows so that we can see them up close and personal. Leave black construction paper outside in a covered, but cold place where you can easily grab it. When the snow starts to fall, hold a cold sheet of black paper out to catch the flakes. Dress warmly and be careful not to touch them or breath on them.  It is amazing how much detail you can see! We take white crayons with us and try to sketch the pattern we see before they melt.  Though we are rarely succesful, it is fun to try! Here is another creative method.
  • My family loves to cut snowflakes out of coffee filters.  We starch and iron them and hang them from the ceiling with white thread.  You can also brush on some regular glue and sprinkle with white glitter for an extra special effect.  For other snowflake crafts visit here.
  • Snowflake Snack - Warm a flour tortilla in the microwave or steam it for a few seconds to soften it and then fold to cut snowflake shapes into the tortilla with clean scissors.  Fry in oil briefly and then dust with powdered sugar. This is a favorite treat for my kiddos on "Snow Day".
  • Dust of Snow by Robert Frost makes a nice copywork piece:
Dust of Snow 
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.


This first one is excellent for teaching about the water cycle. We stopped to create a lapbook on the topic this year:


For Parents