Christmas Traditions- the Jesse Tree


As we approach the Christmas season this year, we wanted to find a way to more purposefully celebrate Christ's coming and to talk about it with our children. I didn't even have to search for it, but God just dropped it in my lap, my husband loved the idea and I can't wait for us to start!

It's called a Jesse Tree.

Basically, it's a family devotional done each day, from the last day of November until Christmas Eve. It's similar to the idea of an advent calendar, except that it works it's way through the entire Bible story, beginning at Creation and the Fall, and going all the way to Jesus' coming.

I love that it encompasses the bigger story of the Bible, tying it all together, using God's Word to show us our need for a Savior and why Jesus is just that Savior! (It's similar to the concept of the The Jesus Storybook Bible
for young children, which we have loved reading with our kids.)

For some more information, here are the blog posts that originally got me started on the idea:
Jesse Tree (@ Rocks in my Dryer)
The Jesse Tree- A Family-Oriented Way to Focus on the True Meaning of Christmas (@ Simple Mom)

The resource that immediately appealed to me as I looked around was this:


The Glorious Coming- A Jesse Tree Advent Celebration
By Ann Voskamp (of Holy Experience, which I just told you how much I have been blessed and encouraged by. I knew the devotions would be rich and meaningful coming from Ann- how could they be anything but?)

I already bought the Ebook and am really pleased with the devotions that I've skimmed through, and the simplicity of having the ready-made ornaments to cut out. They're simple and easy, although I ultimately I liked Shannon's idea of coming up with special ornaments as part of what makes it especially meaningful. I think I will start with these ornaments and slowly add real ones over the years as I find or make something just right.

As for a tree, I didn't feel like I could fork out the $20-30 or so that it costs to buy a nice, small, fake tree. I will keep my eyes out for a used one, but for now I just bought a 9 foot long fake-fir-tree garland from Walmart for $1.97, which I will string along the large window in our dining room, where we eat dinner and will do our devotions. The ornaments will hang well enough on that for now, and when I find a tree for a good price, we'll upgrade.

Does your family use a Jesse Tree as a means of teaching about and celebrating the Advent season? Do you have a different tradition? Tell us how you keep your Christmas focused on Christ and how you impart that to your children!

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. A Jesse Tree is a wonderful way to celebrate Jesus’ birth – to teach your children and tell others the story of God’s plan. I make felt sets of 27 ornaments – you can find them here:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/109692943/advent-felt-jesse-tree-ornaments-set-of

  2. Hi there!

    I know that I am way late getting on the ball here, but can I ask where you were able to download the Jesse Tree E-book? I cannot find it anywhere!!

    Thanks so much!

  3. I simply use willow branches from the bush (for free!) for my Jesse Tree. I cut a few of the red branches and put them in a glass jar with some nice ribbon tied around. You can see a picture of it here:

    http://orgjunkie.com/2007/12/boomamas-christmas-tour-of-homes.html

    Laura

  4. This is awesome. I JUST learned about this a week ago and have been looking into how to incorporate this into my son’s teachings. I think I’d like to find a template of paper ornaments to hang on our little tree (WE GET A REAL ONE THIS YEAR! WOO HOO!!!). Do you know where I can find some of these? Also – I read about attaching a paperboard cut-out tree to a wall (maybe in your child’s room) and gluing the cut out’s there? Just an idea…

  5. This is a really neat idea! I’ve never heard of a Jesse Tree before. I am definitely going to go for it with my family and in the classroom! Thanks!

  6. We have done a Jesse tree for the past few years. In fact, I just posted my annual “Jesse tree post.”

    We used a miniature tree that we already had, but I have also done this with our children’s ministry at church using felt one year and construction paper another year. The children made individual Jesse “trees” out of these materials. I printed “ornaments” that I found on the Internet on card stock and they hung them on their “trees.”

    I will definitely take a look at your links – thanks for sharing them!

    ~Andrea

  7. this sounds like a really neat idea! I might try it this year…but I will have to see how much energy I have, I am trying to keep things basic while not neglecting things, if that makes sense. I don’t have much time left before the baby is due. Definately I will show this idea to my husband! Thanks for sharing.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] had never  heard of a Jesse Tree until last Christmas! Basically, a Jesse Tree uses devotionals from throughout the entire Bible, [...]

  2. [...] had never  heard of a Jesse Tree until last Christmas! Basically, a Jesse Tree uses devotionals from throughout the entire Bible, [...]

  3. [...] have seen many good ways to add meaningful worship into our Christmas traditions.  The Jesse Tree is a great example of this.  However, our family became convicted that we needed to evaluate the [...]

  4. [...] my children, I will also be using Ann Voskamp's beautiful advent devotional, The Glorious Coming (which is unfortunately not currently available, as she may be doing a re-write of the book). It [...]

  5. [...] year I posted on doing a Jesse Tree, and in the post I linked to where you can purchase a wonderful ebook of devotions as well as [...]

  6. [...] family tradition that we began last year is to have a Jesse Tree. On December 1, we'll be starting this tradition again by doing daily family devotions that prepare [...]