Day 4

Advent Verses

In the Old Testament, Isaiah 7:14 tells us He will be born of a virgin.
In the New Testament, scripture is fulfilled in Matthew 1:21-23, as an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and mirrors these same words.

Jesse Tree

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.    -Genesis 3:4

And so sin entered the world.  Our verse for today recalls the lie told in the garden.  Though we don't know what kind of fruit it was, a simple drawing of an apple would make a nice ornament for today.  If you are using symbols rather than pictures, you could hang a small fake snake to help remember this part of the story.

To Explore

The Nutracker is a famous Russian ballet that began as a storybook entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T. Hoffmann.  This version was never actually intended for children, though the ballet has become a classic children's Christmas tale.  It evolved from story to play to ballet, set to the music of Tchaikovsky. 

  • Lesson Plans for Duke Ellington's version of the Nutcracker Suite
  • Unit Study on The Nutcracker Suite (this was free last year, but is currently $3.99)

    Christmas Around the World

    Russian Christmas contains an interesting history including the banning of celebrations, a different celebration date, and a 40 day advent season!

    To read about Russia's rich history and traditions, visit:
    Russian Christmas
    Christmas in Russia
    Russian Christmas Dinner
    A nice summary of all-of-the-above
    Not Christmas related, but a nice, condensed history of Russia

    Historically, St. Nicholas is dear to Russia, but not as a Santa Claus figure.  Russians instead look forward to a figure known as Father Frost.  St. Nicholas was brought to Russia in the days of Vladimir the Great and even now, Nikolai is one of the most popular boy names in Russia.  You can read more about St. Nicholas in Russia at The St. Nicholas Center.

    TheTale of Babushka is perhaps more popular in the western world than in Russia, but nonetheless, it is a great Russian Christmas Folktale.

    To wish a Merry Christmas in Russian, say "'S Rozhdestvom khristovym!"  or simply "S Rozhdestvom!", emphasizing the last syllable.

    Hands On (cooking, coloring, creating)


    Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite


    Book List:
    The Nutcracker with pictures by Maurice Sendak
    The Nutcracker: A Magic Theatre Book
    Mary Englebreit's Nutcracker
    The Nutcracker Book Set and Advent Calendar
    Nutcracker Sticker Activity Books
    Tallulah's Nutcracker
    Ella Bella Ballerina and the Nutcracker
    The Nutcracker





    The Nutcracker ballet, with Baryshnikov

    The Untold Story

    The Nutcracker Sweet