Catholic Activity: Christmas Tree Decorations
Children can fashion ornaments for the tree by cutting out shapes or drawing pictures. Including Biblical characters, symbols of Christ and Mary, saints, and Jesse Tree symbols as ornaments on the Christmas tree help develop the spirit of Advent expectation.
Making Christmas tree decorations provides one of our family's Advent projects. In the past we obtained from religious goods stores packets of double-faced paper designs. The children made the decorations entirely by themselves. Figures included Nicholas as a Bishop with a bag of toys, the Infant Jesus, Mary, angels, shepherds, stars, and symbols such as the Mystical Rose. Pre-school children love to cut out the designs, punch the holes, and put ornament hangers into each decoration.
A child who can draw is always happy to see his own work displayed on the tree. Children not so talented can cut out the animals of the stable, angels, and the figures of the Advent season, Isaias, John the Baptist and Zachary from old books or calendars. These may be backed with bright colored paper to make attractive ornaments. Our children love symbols. Last year Christ, the Christmas Rose, was represented by a rose (cut from wallpaper) over which they placed twelve silver stars. They also dressed tiny dolls to present Christ's ancestors and hung them on the tree. These included Jesse, David, our Lady, St. Joseph, and Adam and Eve. Clay and paint provided a tiny apple and a serpent to give Adam and Eve real meaning and to dramatize the reason for the Redeemer's coming.
Activity Source: Family Advent Customs by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1979