The Jesse Tree


For years, our family has used the Jesse Tree to help our children focus on Advent rather than Christmas-come-early. As the culture around us continues to become more secular, we find Christmas decorations and carols being brought out earlier and earlier. Pretty soon, we’re wishing each other Merry Thanksgivoween!

thanksgivoween-main

Not only that, but once Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas comes at us full-on, and in our culture, this often means that we are accosted with a constant barrage of consumerism that would make poor Linus pass out, let alone squirm! Ads constantly present huge, expensive electronics as a normal present to give to younger and younger children (we had a friend give his 4 year old an iPad the first year they were out because “she likes mine”), kids are pushed to ask their parents for more and more, and people treat Christmas shopping as some kind of drudgery rather than an opportunity to find a special gift for someone they love. Instead, we’re told that bigger is better! More presents is what the kids want!

Gracious, we’re raising a generation of Dudley Dursleys!

When our girls were very young, I think about 7 and 4, we decided to start a tradition of doing evening readings during Advent centered around a Jesse Tree. That year, I printed off paper ornaments that the girls cut out and colored in, and we hung them with ribbon from a bare branch in our living room.

I got more adventurous by 2008, and decided to use our Christmas tree, bare until Gaudette Sunday, as our Jesse Tree and had the girls make salt dough ornaments which they painted and I numbered for each day with a Sharpie.

In 2010, I’d had enough trying to read the Scripture verses on the backs of the ornaments and made this document with the readings in full and printed them off to keep in a three-prong folder, which my younger daughter decorated. In 2012, my girls made new ornaments for us to use, for alas! Salt dough ornaments do not last forever, no matter how carefully you wrap them in tissue paper!

While I re-post my Jesse Tree readings daily from December 1 through 25 every year, a sweet friend suggested that I keep a special page with links to the readings all in one place, for a quick and easy reference. And so that’s what this page is for. Here you’ll find my resources that I’ve used for the Jesse Tree, along with readings for the month.

Now, how do you get started? Here are some handy links for you to consider:

 

70 thoughts on “The Jesse Tree

  1. Thanks for linking to the black and white coloring pages ornaments. Your online readings for Jesse tree advent are terrific. I used them today with the kids. This makes doing Jesse tree very easy. I’ve bookmarked the page so we can go back to it regularly during advent.

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  61. Just want to say THANK YOU for putting in all this work to make it easy for us to copy and our families to benefit from your effort. THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

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