Lenten Tree

Last year, I received an e-mail  invitation that forever changed the way my family will observe Lent.  Not having ever been in a church where Lent was emphasized, I was floundering as how to make Lent a special part of our family tradition of preparing for Easter.  A lady at our church e-mailed a bunch of moms asking if we wanted to go in together on a Lenten Tree ornament swap.  The idea was based on this book –

The Lenten Tree by Dean Lambert Smith.  Click on picture to link to Amazon…

The book has 41 short devotionals, each with a corresponding image, for the days leading up to Easter and Easter Day.  The way the swap works is that each person takes one of the images and buys or makes 41 of the same ornaments.  For example, I picked the symbol for Day 19, which is a fish, and bought 41 key chains from Oriental Trading Company (www.orientaltrading.com) that work perfectly as ornaments.


On the day of the swap, each person brought her 41 ornaments.  The organizer  had 41 spaces on the floor labeled with everyone’s names.  Each person went around and put one of their 41 ornaments in each pile.  After everyone is done, every person checks her own pile to make sure she has each of the 41 different ornaments.  Voila!  All of us left with a complete set for the Lenten Tree!

Swap Tips – We actually didn’t have 41 people participate.  Several people decided to take on a couple of the slots so they would have one to keep and one to give away.  After all of us who wanted to participate had signed up, there were still about 6 slots left.  The organizer purchased the supplies for these ornaments and we all chipped in and helped make them during the swap.   With all of us working, it didn’t take us long to assemble the 41 of each of them and add them to the piles.

Non-Swap Version – An easy way to still have ornaments for your tree without the swap, is to photocopy the graphic on the title page for each day’s devotional (see above picture).  Cut them out and let your children color them.  Then punch a holes in them and hang with ribbons or yarn.  If you want to keep these, consider laminating them.

What to Use for a Tree – I’m sure there are lots of creative ideas for this.  But, I wanted something inexpensive, easy to store, and sturdy enough to hold the 41 ornaments.  I found the perfect one at http://www.adoremusbooks.com/woodenornamenttreekit.aspx?zmam=46742494&zmas=1&zmac=2&zmap=21195.  Several other swappers and I ordered them together in order to save on shipping.

Lenten Tree

What a special time this was for our family last year!
 We look forward to continuing the tradition this year and for years to come.

Thursday 16 February, 2012  |  Copyright ©2012, Kara Durbin read more>>

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