November 30, 2010

Meaningful Advent Traditions

Tomorrow is December 1st! That means Advent Calendar time! There are no shortage of advent calendar ideas online; just google image "advent calendar" and prepare to be amazed. I'd like to introduce you to one more: The Jesse Tree.


The Jesse Tree has its roots in medieval art which showed the lineage of Christ represented as a tree (Isaiah 11:1: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.") A tradition developed where ornaments representing key stories in scripture tell the story of God's love from Creation to the Birth of Christ.

The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults
by Dean Meador Lambert


The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at ChristmasI was so excited when I discovered Jesse Trees (late) last Christmas, that I immediately purchased this book. There are numerous books out there, but I'm really pleased with the selection of stories in this one. Each day gives the symbol, a memory verse, suggested songs, scripture references, and two devotionals: one for children and one for adults. The kids devotionals are well-written and easy to adapt to the needs of your own kids.

This book does not give patterns for making each ornament - you are left to your own devices. If you need inspiration, just head on over to Google images and see what others have done. Some families create an ornament a day, while I've also heard of women doing ornament swaps. Each mom is responsible for one or two ornaments and makes as many as there are women participating. When they are all done, everyone has a complete set.  Of course, you can always purchase kits online



Unfortunately, I don't have time this year to create a Jesse tree. So I was thrilled when a woman at our church hosted a seminar on making an Advent Tree.


This is very similar to the Jesse Tree, but instead of moving through the Bible, you focus on different aspects of Christ and the Christmas story.


Each "ornament" attaches to the tree banner with velcro and includes a scripture passage and an accompanying devotional.


Shary adapted her Advent Tree from the book:

by Ann Hibbard

Family Celebrations: Meeting Christ in Your Holidays and Special Occasions


So there you have it... what I am doing this year and would like to do next year in way of meaningful advent traditions. Your turn! What is your family doing to mark the days until Christmas?

I'm linking up to:
- Wonder Mom's Bible Alive! Tuesday

8 comments:

  1. I love this! What a great teaching tool.

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  2. I love advent calendars - the Jesse tree is a new one to me though - very neat!

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  3. Oh-oh-OH! This is what I have been searching for- something that combines the idea of an Advent Calendar AND the Jesse Tree- THANK YOU for sharing!!!

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  4. I purchased some cross stitch patterns last year to make a Jesse tree. I think my little one is too young this year so I have a whole year to make them (now I just need to actually sit down and stitch them throughout the year). Thanks for recommendations!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, could you tell me where you purchased cross stitch patterns for the Jesse Tree? I have friend who has been trying to find the pattern for the Jesse Tree. Thanks

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  5. What a meaningful way to prepare for the best day of the year!!!! I'm going to put both of those books on my to-read list. :)

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