Monday, 28 November 2011

Anticipating Advent - the Jesse Tree

I love it when people make things easy by doing all the hard work for me. :)

For a couple years now, when thinking about (and googling) ways to make Christmas meaningful to our kids, and distract them from all the presents and Santa hoopla (which is fun and all, but not the true reason we celebrate), I came across the idea of a Jesse Tree.

The Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus and tells the entire story of God's salvation plan, beginning with creation and making its way through the Old Testament, showing how it all points to the coming of the Messiah. Reviewing this plan reminds us of how the Israelites waited for the birth of Jesus, and how we wait for His second coming today.

Each day of Advent focuses on one story in the OT and a handmade ornament is added to the Jesse Tree. A Jesse Tree can be a small Christmas tree, it could be any tree-type plant in your home, it could be branches sticking out of a pot, or it could even simply be a hand-drawn tree shape.

Last year, I came across a beautiful Jesse Tree Advent Devotional Book that was (and still is!) being given away for free, by Ann Voskamp at her blog A Holy Experience. Every day's readings contained the scripture passage, a devotional, and an action point (something to do, relating to the theme of the day's devotional). And the ornaments were so easy to put together (essential for this craft-challenged mother!). All I had to do was print them out, glue them on some green card stock with my pretty red ribbon and voila - done!! Like I said - virtually all the work done for me! :)

However, I found the devotionals a bit of a stretch for our kids, and her writing style wasn't really my style. So I supplemented the material with our Jesus Storybook Bible and The Big Picture Story Bible. The Jesus Storybook Bible is by far and away our favourite children's Bible (and we have more than a few). Seriously, if you don't have it yet, you really really really really really need to. And I'm not exaggerating. (Here's my review of it). Anyway, the girls absolutely loved doing this last year (we did about two per day in order to catch up, because we started late - so no using that as an excuse!!). This was our Jesse Tree last year.....

I love the whole idea of it, but I'm planning to rewrite some of the devotionals and revise things to create our own version of the Jesse Tree using many of our children's Bibles in the process.

I'm not entirely sure when that will get done - I do, technically, only have to have them done one day at a time, so in theory, I could still finish it this year. But it starts tomorrow!! So, we'll see what happens. It'll likely be a combo of last year's and whatever I have time to figure out for this year.

The only other problem is that this is a little over the head of my 3 yr old son.

Fortunately, I've found a solution. That post (including 3 giveaways!!) coming up tomorrow!

We're starting our Jesse Tree tomorrow, but we may be doing a little something more this year too (starting December 1st). Stay tuned!

PS - my cousin, Tammi, is doing this too - check out her Jesse Tree!

1 comment:

LaughingLady said...

Oooo, you have me all intrigued!! Thanks for sending me the link last year to get us started on this, too!!


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