I have wanted to incorporate a new family tradition, the Jesse Tree, during Advent for some time now. I just have not taken the time to research and create what we needed to implement it. But this season, I have begun. And I look forward to how it will focus our holiday. Here is a little information explaining the purpose of the Jesse Tree...
"The Jesse Tree is a unique Advent tree that can be very helpful in teaching children about the Bible at Christmas, and a fun activity too. The Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus. It tells the story of God's salvation plan, beginning with creation and continuing to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit." (By Mary Fairchild)
You can find Jesse Tree Family Devotions HERE as well as symbols for the ornaments. You can make simple paper ornaments using the pictures available online. Or, you can get creative and have fun making your own. I really wanted something organic feeling with a bit of rustic charm. I also wanted something that would last, to perhaps one day become an heirloom.
Back in September, I wanted to create a calendar for Isaak. Unfortunately, my vision never came to be. But the vision was re-worked now to create our Jesse Tree. And I am delighted. We had found a fallen branch on one of our Nature days. I had taken it to the Mr.'s workshop, and he had cut them into thin circles and drilled holes in the top. They have been sitting in a bag, waiting for their purpose. Today, I went and purchased a woodburner pen and graphite transfer paper at Michael's for about $15.00. I cut out the small symbols available online, put them on top of the transfer paper, and on top of the wooden rounds- then traced with a pencil over the image. The image transferred beautifully onto the wood. I then, carefully burned the image into the wood, and tied a piece of twine through the hole. Voila!
On the backs, I burned numbers for each devotion so we could easily find which symbol would come next. Because I am just a tad anal, I printed out numbers in a font that I liked and used the transfer paper to trace the numbers as well. I really wanted these to be something I would be happy with year after year and hope that someday, my children will use them with their children.
So each day leading up to Christmas, we will take time to read Scripture along with the Jesse Tree devotion, discussion, and prayer. I am looking forward to building this new family tradition. It is indeed the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Enjoy it.