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Growing up, our family never celebrated Advent. I suppose that’s because it tends to be a more litergical practice and litergical, my family is not. However, in the past few years, I’ve read lots of posts about ‘doing’ Advent with kids as a way to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of the Savior. So this year, we decided our family would practice Advent.
What Is A Jesse Tree?
After researching various methods and studies, I came across the Jesse Tree idea. A Jesse Tree is a representation of the entire line of Jesus through the Old Testament until His birth. Each day, between December 1 and Christmas, we do a brief devotional reading the scripture verses and hanging a corresponding ornament on our DIY tree.
Here is a fantastic free printable devotion guide with corresponding ornaments to make:
>>>Jesse Tree Devotional<<<
I found a few sites online that had printable devotion ideas and then Fiona and I got to work making everything.
How To Make The Tree and Ornaments
First, we went outside and cut a branch from an oak tree in our yard. Using florist foam, we stuck the branch into a vase and covered the foam with pebbles.
Once the tree was made, we pulled out card stock, markers, fabric, glue, and other craft bits to make our ornaments. You can actually buy Jesse Tree ornaments online if you’d rather, but we wanted to craft our own.
And they will be all the more cherished for their homemadeness.
Aren’t they sweet?
Each evening we read our devotion and the kids take turns hanging the ornaments on the Jesse Tree, which we place in our living room. You might think my now teenagers would have outgrown this tradition, but they ask for it every year and the focus on Jesus and His story keeps our hearts and minds set towards Him rather than the tendency to think all about ourselves and our own desires during the Christmas season.
Here are a few additional resources on the Jesse Tree: