Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. That means, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Read my full disclosure here.
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.
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.
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.
What advent traditions does your family have? Have you ever heard of, used, or created your own Jesse Tree?