Day 7

Advent Verses
Genesis 12:1-3 & 22:18 describes a promise to Abraham.
Matthew 1:1 & Galatians 3:16  confirm and expound.

Jesse Tree

Because we make our Jesse Tree a part of our Christmas School Routine, we don't do Jesse Tree lessons on the weekends. You can find many resources that will take you through every day of Advent on our Jesse Tree main page.

Traditionally, the next verse is about the birth of Isaac.  An appropriate ornament for today is a baby cradle. A verse following this theme would be Genesis 21:6 which ironically mentions laughter, referring both to Sarah's laughing when she heard she would have a son in her old age and to the laughter that came into their lives upon the birth of their son, Isaac. Isaac is Hebrew for 'laughter'.

To Explore
It seems we see them all over during this season.  Why during Christmas?  Bells have been around for thousands of years as a way to announce occasions.  They rang to mark joyous occasions.  They rang to mark unhappy occasions.  They rang to warn of impending danger.  They rang to call commuties to gather.  They are rung during Christmas to announce the celebration of Christ's birth. 

Christmas Around the World
Hungarians enjoy celebrating Christmas twice! Once on Dec. 6th for St. Nicholas' Day and the second on Christmas Eve.  Hungarian children enjoy a Christmas tree, too, but they do not participate in the decorating.  In fact, they do not see the tree until Christmas Eve.  After supper, children are told not to enter the room, but to listen for the angels.  When the angels are finished decorating the tree, they ring a bell announcing to the children that they are leaving and that it is safe to come in.  After presents are exchanged, many families attend a midnight mass.  The next day, Christmas Day, is set aside for visiting with family. 

To wish a Merry Christmas in Hungary, try saying "Yokarar√°csony!"

Hands On (cooking, coloring, creating)
joys of boys jingle bells

crafts for all seasons snowman bell

For a jingle bell activity, nothing can beat turning up the volume to Jingle Bell Rock and dancing around the house together.

For a rhythm game, pass a bell from player to player as each participant sings only one syllable of the song "Jingle Bells".  One person would get to sing "Oh", another sings "what", and yet another sings "fun" and so forth until you've finished the song...."it is to ride in a one horse o-pen sleigh, hey!"  But you can't sing your syllable until the bell has been handed to you, creating a fun and interesting sounding song.


So many Christmas songs that sing of bells!

Carol of the Bells is a favorite, this brief history explains that it wasn't originally a Christmas song at all!

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
This song was originally a poem, written in 1864 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  The tune was added in 1872 by John Baptiste Calkin.  Two stanzas were omitted in the final song because they referenced the Civil War.  Here is a beautiful rendition by Harry Belefonte:

And here is a modern twist to this beautiful old hymn:


This is a sweet game with beautiful music. Click to make your bunny jump up to ring a bell and then continue leaping from bell to bell to accumulate points. Orisinal's WinterBells

I have one other subtle link to tie in bells and Hungary.  Trace the connection with me, starting with the famous line from It's a Wonderful Life, that says "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings."  The main character in that movie, Jimmy Stewart, was also the main character in another of my favorite Christmas movies: The Shop Around the Corner, which takes place in Budapest, Hungary. How's that for a link?? You might be more familiar with the remake, known as You've got Mail.