Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our Jesse Tree

This year, I have a strong burden to impart to my children the true meaning of Christmas. I was thinking of ways I could do that when I came across the idea of a "Jesse Tree" on several of my favorite blogs. The Jesse Tree sounded perfect for an Advent activity to do with the whole family, including our small children. Interestingly enough, I had never heard of one before! I know some really crafty folks make their own symbolic ornaments or hand-embroider them but I was running short on time this year, especially with our move. In the future, we may start collecting ornaments from yard sales, after-Christmas clearances, etc. for our Jesse Tree but for now, these paper ornaments work great! I just printed them off the computer, colored them, glued them to colored cardstock, covered them with clear contact paper, and punched a hole in the top for a piece of yarn. Since we got a late start on them, we are doing a few ornaments a day until we catch up, instead of just one. I printed off the family devotions, (I link to them below) and we talk about each ornament before we hang it up. My kids enjoy this so much and I feel great that they are learning all about how the Old Testament stories point to a coming Savior. My little 3-foot Christmas tree that I've been using since I was in my mid-teens is the perfect size for a Jesse Tree! Some folks use a paper or cloth tree, hung on the wall, and others use a bare branch stuck in a pot of dirt.
There are some ideas for doing a Jesse Tree here.
Buy some cute embroidered Jesse Tree ornaments or iron-ons to make your own at this site.
I got my symbols to print off and color here.
Family devotions to correlate with the symbols here.
Because we have friends named Jesse and Shiloh, we had to explain to our kids that a "Jesse Tree" doesn't mean a tree for Jesse Blasdel. Josiah likes to tease the kids and tell them next year we are doing a "Shiloh Tree."


The Three 22nds said...

This is a GREAT idea! I have never heard about it! We haven't really done the advent thing so much because all the stuff I have found is over the kids heads. We have this Jesus storybook and it goes through the Bible showing how everything points to Jesus. We are reading that this month timing it to coincide with Jesus' birth at Christmas, and the Jesse tree would fit in with that great!. Thanks for Link!

Thia said...

We are really behind...like a week! It's terrible. I am interested in your links for next year b/c the ones I am using have really long passages to read and the kids' attention span isn't that long.

Heather said...

Thanks for including the link to the Jesse Tree printable symbols. I hadn't actually considered doing one because it seemed like so much prep, but printing and coloring sounds pretty simple. Thanks!

jesse said...

I am soooooo disappointed. I had been waiteing with baited breath to see the pictures of the tree with my pictures on it! We were even planning our own Lindsey Tree... On a more serious note, I think we will be doing this next year. I love the idea of telling the story of the Bible, just ask Josiah, that's all we're doing for the month of January in youth group is telling stories.

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