Friday, November 30

Jesse Tree

I've come across a lot of material for making the holiday season more meaningful and enjoyable for our family. There are so many wonderful ideas for adding meaning to all the days leading up to Christmas Day. I know children can get overwhelmed with one peak day of travel and presents and no naps and lots of food. The Jesse Tree is one way we've found to bring meaning into each day of advent.
"The Jesse Tree is named from Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots." It is a vehicle to tell the Story of God in the Old Testament, and to connect the Advent Season with the faithfulness of God across 4,000 years of history. The Branch is a biblical sign of newness out of discouragement, which became a way to talk about the expected messiah (e.g., Jer 23:5). It is therefore an appropriate symbol of Jesus the Christ, who is the revelation of the grace and faithfulness of God." resource here
So what does a Jesse Tree look like? For some it is a wire tree or paper tree or real tree branches stuck randomly in a pot or an evergreen tree. Ancient art depicts the Jesse Tree in stained glass, elaborate paintings and carefully etched drawings. Since I like the smell and look of an evergreen, that is what we'll be using. Each day of advent comes with a different story in Jesus' lineage and coordinating ornament to hang on the tree. We'll have at least three or four of each ornament because of our family size and allowing each child to fully participate every day. So that's the nitty gritty. We'll also hang the star atop the tree from day one (tomorrow) so the children can see what all these stories are leading up to.
Follow along with us if you like. I am going to attempt to post faithfully every day with the story and craft ornament. We'll also be celebrating St. Nicholas Day and a few other surprises with stories and crafty things and special foods.

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