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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jesse Tree

"Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot--yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root...In that day the heir to David's throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world.  The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place."--Isaiah 11:1,10

Our decorations aren't out yet (even though the girls would love it if they were), but something I have started preparing for, for this Advent season, is our Jesse Tree.  This is the first year we're doing one, but since I had decided a while ago to do it, it was manageable.
Branch ornament--one for our family's tree and one for each of the girls when they get older.
The idea behind a Jesse Tree is rather simple.  It is a way to anticipate Christ and celebrate Christmas and His coming.  Each day, as a family, you read the Bible and trace Jesus' story from the beginning, right up until the time when he makes his miraculous appearance here on Earth.  A handmade ornament corresponds to each day and to the Bible story being read.
Branch ornament, creation of the world, apple with snake
Some people use paper ornaments, others use felt while I've also seen some that use actual objects.  However you choose to do it is fine.  The important thing is the anticipation and preparation of our hearts to receive Christ.  A way to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  Intentional acts.
Noah's arc w/rainbow, camel and tent, sandals
There are tons of examples online of how people have set up their Jesse Trees.  Some begin the first day of December and go for 25 days.  That is what we're doing.
ram, Jacob's ladder, Joseph's coat
Others strictly follow the season of Advent, which changes each year.  There isn't a right or wrong method but the important thing is to pick one and stick to it.  There are also variations in some of the ornaments, focusing on different passages from the Bible.  Again consistency is about the only requirement.
10 commandments, Rahab's red rope, Ruth's wheat
When I started in mid-October making ornaments, I decided that if I was making 1, it was just as easy to make 3.  That way, each girl would have their own complete set of ornaments when they get older and move out to start lives of their own.
David's crown, candle, Elijah's altar
Some ornaments were no-brainers!  Others took a bit more researching.  Pinterest to the rescue!  Ha!!
Jonah's whale, city of Bethlehem, Esther's scepter 
After a trip to the craft store for some fun foam sheets in various colors, some leftover felt, and embroidery floss I was ready to start.
watchtower, jingle bell--'jingle for Jesus', shell
Day 20's story is about Zechariah and Elizabeth.  I was drawing a blank on how to represent it, so I settled on a jingle bell since Zechariah lost his voice but I'm thinking he'd jingle for Jesus if he could.
Mary's heart, Joseph's hammer, cradle or manger, star
The star is actually a glittered star glued onto a t.p. roll that the Noodle made a couple of years ago.  We'll put this on the top of the tree on December 25 to represent Jesus' birth.

  I also purchased this gorgeous book by Ann Voskamp, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, as our devotional.  The pictures are beautiful and it is definitely appropriate for families, no matter what the ages of the children.  
Now we're ready to usher in the Christmas season!!

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