Advent & Jesse Tree: December 16th, 2016~Hugo Party

In this post: A winter themed Hugo party to go with the book and movie. Also our ornament and devotion for the 16th day of Advent.

Hello, dear ones! How are you? We are doing good. Michael is reading several neat books for 6th grade. I know I haven’t started my 6th-grade posts. It looks like that’ll have to wait until January. However, I want to share this one book party early, because it feels like Christmas. I love the movie Hugo. It’s not the typical action-packed bathroom humor filled kids’ flick. The film takes its time to immerse kids in a beautiful and almost haunting world of cinema history, a snowy train station, and an orphan boy whose only friend for a while was a broken automaton. You will learn about George Melies a french magician and a pioneer in film directing and special effects. Michael loved how Hugo, the orphan boy, lived in a giant clock.


So…when I brainstormed our movie party, I kept thinking of the key elements: early cinema, snow, automatons, and a train station. 


  • I stapled paper film strips and clapperboards on a poster board. I put posters of George Melies movies (one being The Man on the Moon) on top of the strips.


  • I drew my own version of the train station clock and cut a tunnel for a toy train I bought as an early Christmas present.


  • I hung a big snowflake centerpiece and I cut out smaller snowflakes from paper doilies. I wanted to give the illusion of it snowing. I found a snowflake ornament that twinkled. I spread snowflake doilies on the table over a light blue table cloth…more of a snowy effect.


  • Lastly, I wanted to capture the feel of going to the movies during the golden days of cinema. I bought a popcorn machine that pops with air. The kids loved watching our popcorn pop.


  • I also got Michael a Crayola animation studio. We’re having issues with the App but I haven’t given up on it. If all else fails, we can try to make our own stop-motion movie without a program.


Michael read Hugo in a night.I had given him two weeks to read it before our party. He was really interested I guess! So then we watched the movie and enjoyed our treats. We played with the train, and later that night Chris helped Michael with the animation studio.

I didn’t forget about the automaton. I wanted to buy Michael a really nice metal automaton like this:

But I settled for a paper craft of a cat playing piano. The instructions were confusing for Michael, though. The craft fell through, but you are welcome to try it yourself. If you are successful I’d love to see a picture. Please leave me some comment love.  Here’s the link:

  • Now it’s time for our Jesse Tree ornament and devotion for day 16.

16. Jonah’s Fish~ Read Jonah Chapters 1-3. Jonah spoke for God, and God wanted Jonah to speak grace and second chances to the people of Nineveh. The problem was that Jonah didn’t want the people of Nineveh to have grace. They were mean and wicked. He wanted them to get what they deserved. Have you ever felt that way? You wanted the teacher to punish that bully. You wanted that bad driver to get a ticket. Oh, and that crooked politician should go to jail. Isn’t that justice? What’s wrong with feeling that way? Well, I imagine Jonah had the same questions. Why would God show mercy on such wicked people? But I believe Jonah forgot what we forget too…we are also wicked. We deserve justice also. We can’t measure up to God. We fall short and deserve death, but we don’t want to get what we deserve. We want God to show US mercy. We beg for God’s grace. Jonah’s grace came in the belly of a great fish. God forgave Jonah, although he ran away. Our grace comes at the foot of a cross, but it began in a manger. Jesus, God’s Son, died and rose to give grace to everyone. We just have to accept Him. He was in the grave for three days just as Jonah was in the great fish for three days. Jonah came out of the fish with a second chance. Jesus came out of the grave to be our second chance. Do you know someone that needs a second chance this Christmas? Maybe you have a family member or friend you need to reconcile with? Remember that we should forgive others because Christ forgave us.

Activity: Watch Veggie Tale’s Jonah movie, and eat goldfish. Visit the aquarium or a pet store to look at fish.

Well, God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

More Advent:

Christmas Crafts:

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