for several years now, I've been hearing about a Jesse Tree. finally, this year, we're on the ball enough to begin this thoughtful tradition with our own family, specifically the two little girls.
apparently, I'm a little slow on the uptake, as the Jesse Tree fever has been sweeping the bloggy world for quit a little while now. if you google "Jesse Tree" you'll get no fewer than 1 million results. 1 million!anyway, the premise behind the Jesse Tree is an advent preparation, tracing the spiritual family tree of Jesus Christ, retelling many of the bible stories that lead to Christ's birth.
each day, beginning with the first Sunday in advent, there is a brief devotional. we're using the book that can be found here. ( i will say, however, that this book is a bit young~ and brief, so as the girls get older we'll be switching to another, deeper devotional.) after G and i read the passage for the day out loud, i read the same story to the girls from their little study bible. (also found here.)
then we hang on the ornament that represents the story or person. so far, that is the biggest hit with the girls. (of course!)
i like that this "advent calendar" (of sorts) puts the whole focus on Jesus, and the reason that we celebrate. it's been a meaningful tradition for us so far, and although it's probably too late to start one for your family this year, there is always next year!
then you'll have lots of time to make wonderful ornaments! (unlike me, since I'm usually scrambling around at the last minute trying to make the days ornament!) your ornaments don't have to be fancy- there are lots of patterns to be found on line. here and here are some cute ones that can be simply made out of card stock, felt or foam. (scroll down to see the Jesse Tree patterns) if you want to see how another blogger made this tradition meaningful for her family with really cool ornaments, you should go visit Shannon at rocks in my dryer.
I'll update periodically and show you our ornaments. but meanwhile, make the time to celebrate meaningful traditions with your family as we prepare for Jesus' birthday!