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Did you read that title and go, “Huh?”  Maybe you are wondering what Sukkot is. Or maybe, you already know what Sukkot is and you are wondering why my family would celebrate it as Christians. Either way, read on to get your questions answered or just to see some cute photos of my family having a great time.

Sukkot is the seventh and final Biblical Feast given to Israel in Leviticus chapter 23.  It is also known as The Feast of Tabernacles or The Feast of Booths. It is celebrated in the fall, from the 15th to the 22nd of Tishri on the Hebrew calendar to be exact. And, according to Leviticus 23:41, it is to be a  “lasting ordinance for the generations to come,” – meaning there is no end to when we should stop celebrating it.

In Leviticus 23, the Lord instructs the native-born Israelites to construct a sukkah, or a booth, or temporary hut and to live in it for 7 days as a reminder of their 40 year sojourn through the wilderness and their deliverance and Exodus out of Egypt. Later, as Israel entered the promised land, this holiday also became associated as the “Feast of the Ingathering” – a time to celebrate harvest {Deuteronomy 16}.  It is a time to CELEBRATE with joy and thanksgiving – giving praise to the Lord for all that He has given us and delivered us from.   The Lord actually commands that we rejoice during this festival in Deuteronomy 16!

So why do I celebrate Sukkot as a Christian?  I am a follower of Christ who was a Jew – and I am “adopted” into His family when I took Christ to be my Savior.  Therefore I celebrate all of the Lord’s Feasts – not because I HAVE to, but because I WANT to.  Much like when you marry into a family, you want to get to know them, learn all you can about them, and be with them. I have that desire in my heart – to know and understand the Lord and his people – my family as deeply as I am capable of.  And, celebrating Sukkot is fun!

What does my family do to celebrate Sukkot?

We dwell in a sukkah, of course! Sukkahs, or booths can take shape in many ways – over the years it has been a pop up tent like you would use at a vendor fair or football game {when I had little ones this was the best we could do…and that was okay!}, and now we celebrate in a beautifully built pergola in my parents back yard. It can be built using wood from your yard, or any other materials you might have.  If you have older children you can get them involved.

Sukkot is a time of fellowship and rejoicing with friends and family, so we invite our friends and family over to enjoy a meal with us.   My dad is a musician so we often enjoy a bit of worship music outdoors under our sukkah. We sometimes read the scriptures and recount the stories of the Exodus, the birth of Christ {Jesus is believed to have been born during Sukkot}, and look forward to the return of Christ when He will celebrate this feast with us!  We also play games, make and worship with branches – known as a lulav {see Leviticus 23:40}, and blow the shofar.  Each year it looks a little different as our children get older and we learn more, but one thing remains – we celebrate the best we know-how in the season that we are in.

As a homeschool family, we incorporate crafts and stories into our lessons. This year my children made homemade cards to give to friends and packed small gifts like soap from Israel, and small vials of Young Living’s 3 Wise Men essential oils to give to those who came to celebrate with us.  We also printed some colouring sheets, watched a children’s video about Sukkot, and read some of the Bible stories about the Exodus and Jesus’ birth from our children’s story bible.  We also made an aromatic garland to hang from our sukkah using cinnamon ornaments, dried oranges, and wooden beads.  {Keep reading for instructions on how to make your own!}

The important thing about celebrating Sukkot is to do it with others and to have fun! Remember the Lord commands us to rejoice! So, it shouldn’t be a stressful time but an enjoyable time to just enjoy all that the Lord has blessed us with and the people that He has placed in our lives.

How to make an Aromatic Garland hang from your Sukkah:

I picked up the materials at my local Walmart while picking up paper goods, ingredients for the recipes I cooked at Sukkot and other craft supplies for our school projects. Speaking of being thankful…I’m thankful for Walmart – where I can get everything I need in one place while I’m dragging my kids around with me! LOL.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 containers of cinnamon
wooden beads
Some string such as hemp cord
drinking straw
cookie cutters {we used a star of David and a shofar shape}

We assembled this over the course of a couple of days, doing one step each day during homeschool.  First, we made the cinnamon ornaments using this recipe here- cinnamon ornaments. We used a drinking straw to make a hole in the top of the ornaments so we could string them on the garland.

Then, we made the orange slices:
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.  Thinly slice navel oranges and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 2 1/2 hours or until oranges are completely dry.

Once all of our materials were prepared, we alternated wooden beads, dried oranges, and cinnamon ornaments on the hemp cord. To make the ornaments lay flat and keep the materials from sliding around on the garland once it was hung, I tied knots around the ornaments.

The garland was pretty hanging in our sukkah and it made the whole area smell like cinnamon!