When I was a kid, my family never observed the Advent season. I suppose that is due to the fact that it is typically a more literary practice, whereas my family is not particularly literary. However, over the past few years, I’ve read a lot of posts about ‘doing’ Advent with kids as a way to get our hearts ready for the celebration of the birth of the Savior. This is something that I’ve found to be an excellent way to prepare our hearts for the holiday. Therefore, we made the decision that this year our household would observe the Advent season.
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What exactly is a Jesse Tree, though?
After doing some research on a variety of approaches and studies, I came across the concept of the Jesse Tree. A Jesse Tree is a graphical representation of the entire lineage of Jesus that extends from the Old Testament up until the time that He was born. A short devotional is something my family and I do every day between the 1st of December and Christmas. During this time, we read the corresponding scripture verses and hang an ornament on our homemade Christmas tree.
The Religious Readings
The following is a wonderful devotional guide that you can print out for free and make the ornaments that correspond with it:
Jesse Tree Devotional<<<
After searching the internet for some sites that offered printable devotion ideas, I found a few sites, and then Fiona and I got to work creating everything.
Instructions for Making the Christmas Tree and Decorations
We started by going outside and chopping a branch off of an oak tree that was located in our backyard. After inserting the branch into the vase with florist foam, we covered the foam with pebbles to finish the look.
After we had finished constructing the tree, we proceeded to decorate it by making ornaments using materials such as card stock, markers, fabric, glue, and various other craft supplies. We decided to make our own Jesse Tree ornaments despite the fact that they are available for purchase online if you prefer that option.
And because they were made by hand, they will be treasured and cherished even more.
Aren’t they lovely to look at?
Every night before bed, we share a devotional reading together, and then the kids take turns adorning the Jesse Tree that we keep in our family room with Christmas ornaments. You might think that my children, who are now teenagers, would have outgrown this tradition by now; however, they ask for it every year, and the emphasis on Jesus and the story of His life helps to keep our hearts and minds focused on Him rather than the tendency we have during the Christmas season to think only of ourselves and our own wants and needs.
The following is a list of additional resources pertaining to the Jesse Tree: