UPDATE: A quick update because I originally shared this post 9 years ago;)—I *just* got this SWEET book in the mail that was just published in 2015 called “Our Family’s Jesse Tree”. You can purchase it on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Our-Familys-Jesse-Tree-Activities/dp/1535461470 It’s a GREAT price and it comes with templates for all 25 ornaments, an opening activity, scripture reading, an application summary and a family prayer! This is a SWEET book y’all!!! All you would need to do is make your ornaments from the templates!
We’ve got our tree up. We’ve got the decorations everywhere. We have the music on…all day in the background. I find myself through out the day saying under my breath, “It’s the most GLORIOUS time of the year!” I wanted to update my Facebook status with that phrase today and just never got around to it. YET, the thing I love most, most, mostest about this time is sweet time sharing Christ and the preparation of Christ with my children.
Our family tradition is to walk through the Blessed Christmas with the Jesse Tree. You can buy different Jesse Tree devotionals, we just happen to have been given by Richard’s mother the Blessed Christmas version which is amazing (includes scripture reading, devotional, prayer and ornament/symbol for each day).
And this is by far the sweetest part of my day–every day–during the holiday season. The Jesse Tree devotional concepts are taken from the verse Isaiah 11:1 that says, “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse and from the roots a bud shall blossom.” Jesse was the father of David and from David the royal line would be established…1000 years later leading up to the birth of Jesus. In 28 days—tonight being the first…we will walk through these 1000 years as a family!!! Each night, the story will have an ornament/symbol representing that night’s story. Every year I get so excited to think what God can and will do in my children’s hearts as we walk through the gospel leading up to the birth of Christ! I’m already anticipating tomorrow nights lesson on Creation…the ornament for the tree is leaves:). If you want to do this too–the first ornament will start Sunday night…and if you read this post a few days late–you can easily catch up by doing a devotional in the morning and night! We do ours at night, and it’s such a sweet time bonding as a family. After each lesson and prayer, we sing two hymns that are related to Christmas and Christ’s birth. It is SOOOOO powerful!!!
And get this—tonight as we sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” (AFTER we had just sung “Joy to the World”)…our 10 foot decorated foyer Christmas tree fell over! It was HYSTERICAL! I guess even the trees want to praise Him!!! Well, I’ll be! Needless to say, I *highly* recommend every family considering walking through the Jesse Tree with your family or adopting some type of sweet devotional during the holidays. To me, there is no sweeter way to prepare my family to welcome and receive Christ at Christmas…He is the reason for the season after all! And when you come before Him in praise and teaching little ones about Him each night…your heart will be just as changed as you take time to honor and receive more of Him this season!
Wanna make your own? This is different than ours…but looks great too. If you are crafty, check this link out for a guide: http://www.rca.org/Page.aspx?pid=1628
Another great site with parent devotionals, heirloom ornaments and even coloring pages that coordinate with each days devotionaals…lots of ideas and resources to start your own Jesse Tree tradition: http://www.jesse-trees.com/
Don’t have time to make your own? Get your own copy of one just like ours here: http://thejessetree.org/ A percentage of proceeds go to FCS Urban Ministry Charis Community Houseing, ADUFRAM and Mission Honduras (http://www.missionhonduras.com/)