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What is a Jesse Tree?
After years of infertility and waiting to adopt our oldest, I longed to create family holiday traditions. One particular tradition I wanted to start was 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.
I want my children 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 utilized several resources for creating your own Jesse Tree.
I love these printable Jesse Tree ornaments because they include pre-colored and “color your own” sets! (There is also an available devotional. I have not read it, so, as with all resources, please use Biblical discretion).
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. Here is one similar to ours.
My DIY Jesse Tree
I purchased a small tree (similar) and woodcraft ornaments (similar). 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.
Here is the finished product! We have been using this DIY Jesse Tree advent calendar for several years now. Each night in December, we will read a section of our storybook Bible, and our children 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 children keep their eyes on Jesus during the Advent season.
No Time to Make a Jesse Tree?
If you are already overwhelmed this advent season and the thought of creating your own DIY Jesse tree sounds like too much, there are many great pre-made resources!
What advent traditions does your family have? Have you ever heard of, used, or created your own Jesse Tree?