Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Posts of Christmas...Jesse Tree

I'm excited to begin sharing our Christmas traditions and activities with you all! I hope that you enjoy hearing about them!

As a Christian family, we tread a fine line between celebrating Christ's birth at Christmas and buying into the commercialism of it all. I'll be the first to admit that I have a tendency to get sucked into all the gift buying and giving at Christmas, especially now that we have little ones. But my hope is that we spend a great deal MORE time on the act of celebrating the coming of Christ and of His birth. That's why I'm thrilled that our Advent celebration {that we use in our home} begins on November 29th. Our Elf hasn't flown down from the North Pole yet and we can set the foundation for why we celebrate Christmas. Yes, we do choose to "do" Santa in our home. We do enjoy Christmas activities that have absolutely nothing to do with Christ, but at the foundation I want our children to know that we celebrate Christmas because it is Christ's birthday.

The Jesse Tree is the way that we have chosen to celebrate Advent in our home. Growing up, we lit the candles of the Advent wreath on Sunday nights and read a devotion. Our church has this tradition and we have an Advent Wreath in our home that I'm sure we'll use when the boys are bigger, but for now I wanted something that was geared toward children.

The Jesse Tree depicts the lineage of Christ. Isaiah 11:1 says, "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots." Daily devotions walk us through the Old Testament to the birth of Christ. If you're interested, we use the devotions found HERE. I actually took all of them and had them bound in a book so that it looks nice.

I decided this year that I would make my own ornaments for our Jesse Tree. For the past two years I've just read the devotions each night. However, now that James is really old enough to start understanding, I wanted to add this in as well. I haven't finished our ornaments yet, but I have finished the first five nights of them and I'll update when I have all of them completed. It's also worth noting that a Jesse Tree is not meant to be an elaborate Christmas tree, so our ornaments hang on bare branches and twigs in a vase {although for the pictures I hung them on James' Christmas tree so that they would show up}.

My ornaments are FAR from perfect, but I LOVE this tradition and I'm excited that James and Will will grow up hearing the lineage of Christ as the main part of our celebration of Christmas.


1 comment:

Anna Catherine said...

Oh my word! You made those ornaments? I'm totally impressed! They look great and I want to come to your house and participate!