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DIY Jesse Tree: Creating a Family Advent Tradition

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What is a Jesse Tree?

This is our first Christmas with our son (read about our journey to adoption by starting here), and I have been looking forward all year to creating family holiday traditions.  One particular tradition I wanted to start is using a Jesse Tree to tell the Christmas story.  For many people, telling the Christmas story each year means starting with Mary, the shepherds, or the manger, but the Jesse tree tells the Christmas story from the very beginning, creation.

Creating a DIY Jesse Tree - Start a new advent tradition

I want my son to see the Bible as one seamless story.  The manger was not “Plan B”, but was part of God’s plan all along.  God is glorified through this marvelous story as it shows His sovereign grace and mercy to an undeserving world.  Sin is part of the Christmas story.  This post is not a devotional about the amazing story of the Bible, but, if you want to read further, here is a great article about the story of Christmas starting at the very beginning.

Jesse Tree Resources

In planning this advent tradition, I found several resources for creating your own Jesse Tree.

Whimsicle Design studio has free printable ornaments.

Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs linked the Jesus Storybook Bible with each day of advent.  You can access the guide and check out the printables she uses by clicking here.

We currently use the Jesus Storybook Bible for our devotions, so we plan on using it for our advent devotions as well!  You can create your Jesse tree using sturdy sticks or you can purchase a small, table-top tree.  This one looks cute!

My DIY Jesse Tree

I found a small tree and woodcraft ornaments at Walmart.  I used Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs Jesus Story Book Bible advent schedule and wrote the date and devotional on the back of each ornament.  On the front, I painted the design using free Jesse Tree ornament printables as inspiration.  I sealed the ornaments with mod podge, but that might not be necessary.

I wasn’t exactly thinking, and bought wood circles that didn’t have holes in them! If I made this again, I would suggest buying discs with premade holes like these.  To improvise, I glued jute ornament hangers (also from Walmart) to the backs.  If they seem to come off easily, I will probably use a Dremel to make small holes.

Here is the finished product! I am excited for December 1st to start using our DIY Jesse Tree advent calendar with my family!  Every night we will read a section of our storybook Bible, and my son will get to hang the corresponding ornament on the tree.

Each story points to the coming Christ, and I can’t think of a better way to help my son keep his eyes on Jesus during the Advent season.

DIY Jesse Tree advent calendar

DIY Jesse Tree Advent Calendar closeup

DIY Jesse Tree Advent Calendar Ornaments

What advent traditions does your family have? Have you ever heard of, used, or created your own Jesse Tree?

Creating a DIY Jesse Tree - Start a new advent tradition

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  1. I’ve done a Jesse tree a couple of times with my kids, and we loved it! We read a page for each ornament, some aspect about Christ. It helped us to focus on the fact that Jesus was born, and that’s what Christmas is about.

  2. What a great idea. It actually took me a long time to get to this post because I kept clicking to read your other stories that led up to this. We have two adopted children in addition to 3 biological kids. Praise God for each one.

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