As Christmas draws near, it’s very easy to get wrapped up ( just like the presents) in all the pre-Christmas chaos (aka Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales) and preparations without pausing to reflect on the true “reason for the season”; the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We all love the bedazzled season filled with beautiful blinking lights, over the top decorations, ugly Christmas sweater parties, festive cheer, and good will. But… in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, do we share with our children our personal love for the real reason we love the season? Just recently with my own extended family, I’ve discovered one of the sweetest family Christian Christmas traditions that can assist moms and dads in this endeavor to help involve their children and prepare them spiritually for the baby Jesus’ birth.
This discovery is found in the beauty and simplicity of the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is a family-focused beautiful accompaniment to the celebration of Advent.
In a nutshell, the Jesse Tree is a replication of the historical genealogy of Jesus beginning with Jesse, the father of King David; represented by various symbols and supported with Bible verses/stories leading up to the birth of Jesus. These symbolic ornaments (creative, child-friendly and generally child-crafted) can be hung on a small tabletop-size tree.
The genealogical progression on the Jesse Tree begins with the scripture found in Isaiah 11:1-2, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” The last ornament placed on the tree culminates in the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:6-21.
Just think how heart-warming as a Christian parent it will be to hear your children retell the Biblical journey of Jesus’ family tree through their own words using the symbols hanging on the Jesse Tree!!
Today, with unlimited access to the Internet, there are a plethora of free resources pertaining to the Jesse Tree. Here are a few links/resources that can help guide you in creating your family’s Jesse tree:
- The Jesse Tree: Complete Guide and Toolkit (rca.org)
- Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition (janmerckling.com)
- Book: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- Book: Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
I get it if you’re already caught up in the whirlwind countdown of Christmas ‘present’; However, my hope is that you will thoughtfully consider implementing the Jesse Tree for your Christmas ‘future’.
You can bring your family together and begin a new special tradition that can be passed on to your children and their children’s children; a tradition that will focus their hearts and minds on the true meaning of Christmas
Happy Birthday Jesus!
by Glenda Delmar