Last year, I was introduced to the idea of a Jesse Tree as a purposeful way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and our family loves it!
The name “Jesse Tree” comes from Isaiah 11:1-2: A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
The Jesse Tree idea centers around Jesus as the fulfillment of this prophesy being the “stump of Jesse”. I had a blast beginning to assemble my own homemade ornaments to add to our tree throughout the Advent season. Each ornament represents a different story, starting at the beginning of Creation and working all the way to the coming of Christ Jesus. Each reading shows how all the Old Testament points towards the coming of Christ as the Messiah. The Jesse Tree gives such a beautiful picture into seeing how each story of the Bible speaks about God. Each story is a little whisper of His name and a glimpse into character, plan and purpose. The Jesse Tree is a form of Advent, in which you read one story each day from November 30-December 25. It is a fun and purposeful opportunity to sit down as a family and read more about His coming, but also have a visual representation through each ornament.
We used the The Glorious Coming: A Jesse Tree Advent Celebration by Ann Voskamp. It includes all the daily reading plus paper ornaments that you can print and cut out for your tree. Ann’s readings are excellent and very thought provoking and suitable for all age levels. Discussion questions included. She recently updated to include black and white versions of the paper ornaments so you have the option of decorating them yourself and larger editions that can be used as coloring pages for the kids while you are reading the Advent devotions. I wanted to make my own ornaments, so we assembled our own ornaments and will be gradually adding a few more each year until we have a complete collection. I did not want to attempt to put it all together at once. 26 ornaments takes time. Why rush? Making your own is a fun way to include your children in the process. It can be very frugal, as most of our ornaments are simply made with felt and twine. I purchased a little 2 foot tree at my local Goodwill for $5 for which to hang our ornaments. But, the ideas here are endless!
I have included below the pictures of our current collection, in no particular order…