Some families create a Jesse Tree with biblical references for Advent. Our family has taken a different tack. We have an Advent Tree (little Simon dubbed it the 'Waiting Tree') that is placed on a pedestal table in the living room. It stands no more than two feet high and has fiber optic lighting. Several years ago, our daughter, Erika, purchased an Advent Calendar that holds tiny books for each day of Advent.
Entitled 'The Story of Christmas', each book is numbered and shares one fact or scriptural reference to the coming of Christmas. Since these tiny books hang from golden threads, we hang each one on the Advent Tree after it has been read. As Christmas draws nearer, the children gain a bit of knowledge leading up to the final, largest book which represents Christmas Eve and the birth of Jesus.
The Christmas tree in our house waits for a time closer to Christmas although we do have some winter type of display to fulfill the desire for a bit of special decorating. This is certainly not a drab time for us but a time of metered joy, preparation, and anticipation. We call this decorative endeavor ‘pre-tree’ and it’s just that. The decor is in the style of winter, with boughs of greenery and pine cone candles holders. There is certainly an air of anticipation and we follow the stories leading up to Christmas, but we reserve the arrival of Jesus for the actual day of His birth.