our children are now 8, 6 and 3 and  they all are excited for the arrival of Christmas and all of the festivities that come along with this special time of year.  i have to admit, like many mother's, i am concerned about the focus of my children's hearts during this holiday.   in our home, we do celebrate santa, the elf on the shelf, and other similar playful traditions, but our main focus is on the birth of Christ--the true and ONLY reason for this holiday.  my husband and i both want our children to realize that this time of year is about one gift and that is the gift of our Savior Jesus.  with this heavy on my heart, i have been looking for more ways to center our home's traditions on Him.  one of the ideas that i saw through my researching was doing a Jesse Tree.  i saw that one of my friends had "pinned" quite a few links on this and i was quite intrigued   i couldn't believe this was the first i had heard of this concept.   i ended up on this site, which was very helpful in my planning.  she had some great ornaments, prayer cards, and Scripture references.  i also loved this site, which had some great ways of using the Jesus Storybook Bible (which we already use)..for this project.   i decided that we would do our trees fairly simple this year as we introduced this idea to our children.  in future years, i hope to create something more permanent to use for our home.  in addition to the links i shared above i also came across this other idea of Advent Gift Boxes.  this year instead of putting candy in our advent calendar, i will have messages like these to share with my children.   and if you are looking for even more information on all of the Holy Day holidays, my friend just started her own site on this as well.  as i mentioned before, there were lots of great sites and links on pinterest--just find what suits your family the best.