Late in the Game: Our Jesse Tree

I know that your tree is down, the ornaments stowed and the decorations packed away until next year, but bear with me, please. Of course, I wanted to post this earlier, but the bustle of December was the exact reason that I couldn’t. Now that things have quieted down, I present you with this:

Until last Advent, I had never even heard of the Jesse Tree, but the minute I did, I knew that our 2010 Advent celebration would center around one. If you’re not familiar with the Jesse Tree, here’s a summary: you pick up some branches and put them in a jar. You collect 25 ornaments, each decorated with the symbols for various Bible stories and prophecies. Then, each day, you read a story and place the accompanying ornament on the tree.

Except for the part about finding 25 ornaments bearing 25 very specific symbols, the whole process is fairly easy. We went through this book, though I also purchased this one and look forward to trying it out next year (I’ve also heard rumors of a free ebook floating around the internet, but those rumors reached me too late to be worth investigating).

In case it’s not obvious, that’s an ark, in the water, with a rainbow overhead.

As for the ornaments, we used a cheap set of tiny ball ornaments from Michaels that I tackled with a gold paint pen (and let it be noted: drawing  a camel with a fat-tipped pen in a half-inch, rounded square is exactly as difficult as it sounds), and they worked swimmingly. I have the felt and the ambition to embroider a set for future use, but for now, these ones work just fine.

And yes, that’s a cluster of grapes on the red one. On the green ornament is half of Joseph’s many-colored coat.

Adding an ornament to our admittedly awkward and long-legged tree every evening at dinner gave us a chance to talk with Lydia about Jesus, and the various ways that his coming was alluded to throughout Scripture. Santa isn’t a big deal at our house (or a deal at all, really – we talk about him, but don’t give gifts in his name), but Jesus is, and doing the Jesse Tree together was a great way to bring a hectic season back to Christ again and again.

And that, my friends, is a sheaf of wheat – represented by a single stalk of wheat.

Because who can really draw a recognizable sheaf in such a small space?


One thought on “Late in the Game: Our Jesse Tree

  1. Elizabeth

    I’ve heard of Jesse trees, but getting an Advent wreath made was a big accomplishment for me this year. Did you guys find that a Jesse Tree and Advent calendar were too much repetition? Or did you not focus so much on an Advent calendar?


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