Day 12

Advent Verses

Psalm 34:20 tells us that His bones will not be broken.  John 19:36-38 confirms that none of His bones were broken, though the men beside Him had their legs broken  to speed their deaths.

Jesse Tree

“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance."   -Exodus 12:14

Today's ornament is a lamb, to represent the sacrificial lamb of the passover meal. It is a beautiful time for a discussion of the foreshadowing of Christ as our the final sacrifice for our sins. You can draw a lamb and glue tufts of cotton balls to your lamb for dimension and texture.

Because there are more Jesse Tree verses than days, you might discuss the Exodus story and combine the above verse with the next traditional Jesse Tree verse:

Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before Me."  

This easy-to-remember verse quickly calls to mind the exodus story and the Ten Commandments.
For a drawn ornament, a sketch of the ten commandment tablet works well.  For a homemade ornament, you might search for a tiny frog toy from around the house to recall the Egypt plagues.

To Explore

Gingerbread! Yummy and whimsical, gingerbread has shown up in various children's tales for many years.  Gingerbread gets its name from that all-important ingredient: Ginger!  You can purchase a nub of ginger root at most grocery stores very cheaply. It has a strong, distinct flavor and a definite spice!  Most of our baking incorporates powdered ginger rather than fresh ginger root.  For fun background on this interesting spice/root, visit -

Christmas Around the World

Bethlehem (which is also the name of our candle this week,) is also known as the House of Bread.  From this city, came the Bread of Life. Bethelehem sees many processions and services at Christmas of various Christian denominations and celebrations last from December 24th until January 18th as it is celebrated differently and at different times by different denominations.

The Church of the Nativity is a famous site in Bethlehem and is built over the cave that is said to be the traditional location of the birth of Christ.

For more information, visit Christmas in the Holy Land

Read about another interesting Bethlehem: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania!

Hands On

Let's make Gingerbread houses!  My family has yet to be ambitious enough to put together an authentic gingerbread house, but we have made knock-off versions with graham crackers, canned frosting, and bagged candies.  No one wanted to eat them afterwards, but they were fun to assemble!  There are many kits available for the real thing and recipes for homemade gingerbread online.

Gingerbread Lapbook

Sandpaper Gingerbread Man

happy hooligans

Easy-sew felt gingerbread man

Adorable half-eaten ornaments

Gingerbread Learning Adventures

Yum! I just tried my first Gingerbread Cake today.

Non-edible, recycled Gingerbread house.

Gingerbread Treat Bag

Gingerbread coloring pages

Jan Brett Coloring Page

Video Tutorial and printable for a real Gingerbread House

Quick and easy Gingerbread House from a juice box and graham crackers

Gingerbread Tissue Box House

Gingerbread Photo Frame

Ms. M's Gingerbread Printables
the educator's spin on it


Oh Little Town of Bethlehem -


Gingerbread Mouse

Gingerbread Friends

Gingerbread Baby

One Night in Bethlehem

Room for a Little One

The Birds of Bethelehem


Decorate a Gingerbread Cookie


The Nativity Story

The Star of Bethlehem