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One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Last year, as a last-minute project, I decided to host a Jesse Tree Party at my house. Jesse Tree is a type of advent activity used to trace the lineage and promise of Messiah through the Old Testament everyday during the month of December. Each day there is a Christmas ornament and scripture passage that correlates together. The name “Jesse Tree” is taken from the prophecy passage in Isaiah 11:1-2. The promised Messiah, the Savior would one day come, from the lineage of King David, of whom we celebrate every Christmas season.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—

There are at least two main Jesse Tree versions that are used. They are mostly the same. The easiest way to identify them apart is that one has a day for Elijah and a day for Jonah, and the other does not. When I was preparing my own party, this was the main distinction that I found. Of course as they become more popular, there is very likely to be several versions out there.
Once I decided on the format that we would use, then the next task was finding 23 other friends who were willing to participate. The main idea of the Jesse Tree party is that each participant chooses one ornament to make (that correlates with the Bible passages) and then makes 24 copies of the same one. Being last-minute, it was difficult for me to find 23 other ladies. I think there were about 15 of us. To make up for the missing ornaments, some ladies choose to make 2 or 3. For example, since I was hosting the party, I decided that I would take the remaining ornaments after everyone else had chosen. There were 3 left over, so I made 24 ornaments for day 4 (which was the call of Abraham), 24 for day 13 (The Stump of Jesse), and 24 for day 14 (the Lion and the Lamb). Some are easier to make than others. I encouraged to girls to not worry about over doing it, and offered them several blogs and other resources for inspiration. I also created a Facebook page so that we could post updates and encouragement as well as share ideas about how to display them during the Christmas season. The benefit to making more than one set was that I was able to have 3 sets after the party was over, and I shared those sets with some friends of mine.

On the day of the Jesse Tree party, we each brought a brunch food and all 24 ornaments. Those who weren’t able to be at the party dropped their ornaments off early. We then created their set to take home at a later time. It was a lot of fun. My only regret was that I was having so much fun at the party that I didn’t take any pictures. 😦 Although it’s to late this year for you to host your own Jesse Tree Party, perhaps you will find inspiration for next year.

If you are looking for resources there is no shortage of them. I created my own Pinterest board that has a FEW of my favorite sites as well as some ideas for advent numbers, ways to display, and devotionals to use. I personally do not use a Jesse Tree book when our family sits down to share in this tradition. We read the passages, talk about what the ornament represents, and what that means or how it relates to Jesus. In coming posts I plan to share some of my own thoughts about these important life stories.

The main version that we used was the one found on this Blog. If you would like a complete list of the ornaments, click here to download our sign up sheet. Jesse Tree Ornaments

Also, for each ornament, I wanted the girls to have the Bible passages on cards for each day. They could attach them to the ornament, place them on the outside of the bag, or however they chose to display them. I sent them the following files. All they needed to do was print enough copies of the day they created for each ornament. There are 6 tags to a page. So again for me, I printed 8 copies of day 4, 13, and 14, since those were the ornaments I had been assigned to. Here is the file if you would like a copy to use as well.   Jesse Tree tags 1     Jesse Tree tags 2

There are a few versions out there that the ornaments can be printed off on paper and decorated or even made from felt. This would be a good option if you wanted to create a last-minute Jesse tree. The main importance is to not get caught up in “making and doing” but in reflecting and remembering who Christ was and why he came.

One final thought. I researched a long time about how I wanted to display our Jesse Tree ornaments. I wanted it to be a focal point so that 1. it would be part of our Christmas season 2. that I wouldn’t forget. Christmas is BUSY: Parties, dinners, shows, concerts, birthdays, shopping, etc. To display the ornaments I use a variety of boxes and bags. For the tags, I decided on creating another element of ornament by purchasing small frames that I painted. We display both the frame and the ornament along the garland on our stair case. There is no right or wrong way to display your Jesse Tree ornaments. Take the time to make it a special and important tradition.

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