i should be mopping the floor: Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition

Our family absolutely loves our Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition. 
It keeps the true meaning of Christmas close at hand every single day of the season.

The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.
The Jesse Tree is an ancient Christmas Tradition originating back to medieval times. Jesse Trees are used in homes to help tell the Christmas story...they depict a lot of the characters, prophesies, and stories surrounding the birth of Christ. I've included free scripture printables to help you create a Jesse Tree tradition for your own family. You'll find details and tips are below on how to incorporate this as your own Christmas tradition...I guarantee it will be one that you treasure!

AND, this is a blog hop! I'm joining several friends who are sharing their special traditions this week, too. If you're popping by from Absolutely Arkansas, welcome!


When I decided to share this tradition, I wasn't completely sure how to explain it all to you. It's a precious tradition and sometimes I just don't have enough precious words to give something like this all that it truly deserves. But, this is also a tradition that every family can make their own. Afterall, that's what we did. So, whatever you interpret from this mish-mash of an effort to do this thing justice, that's what it should be to you. Mmmm-kay?

A couple of years ago, a dear friend invited me to a party. The "prerequisite"? Make and bring TWENTY-FOUR identical ornaments around the words "light of the world". For a moment, I glazed over from sheer exhaustion at the thought of churning out 24 handmade ornaments just two days before hosting Thanksgiving...in my home. But, after I created my ornaments, and went to this amazing event...I had a life-changing tradition on my hands. While I acquired my ornaments at this party, that is not the case for every home that celebrates the Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition. {So, stay with me and don't glaze over with exhaustion...yet.} Feel free to create very simple ones for your tree.
The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.
Pictured above: some of our favorite ornaments we include on our Jesse Tree.

The basic premise of this is to have a tree {a form of a "branch", if you will..."A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." Isaiah 11:1}, on which to place ornaments or trinkets that depict the story of Christ's birth each day of December leading up to Christmas Eve. Each ornament is different...each symbolizing a different part of the story. Consider creating simple symbols to use for your Jesse Tree...or even use a clothespin and attach each scripture card to your tree {voila, instant Jesse Tree, y'all}. You can have your kids make salt dough ornaments, colored paper ones...really, it's an anything goes kind of thing.


The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.

Scripture cards available as a free download below.

At the party I attended, we received a small devotional surrounding the tradition. As my children have gotten older, they've somewhat outgrown the wording the devotional uses {I *think* it was geared to little ones}. We've tinkered here and there to assign our own special scriptures to each of the 24 ornaments we use {and still use some of the originals as well}. We've also had a few ornaments break over the years {wince}, so we've replaced them with others that symbolize the scriptures we use. But goodness, if you ever do get the chance to go to a Jesse Tree party, DO IT! Some incredible keepsakes were made for me by 23 other ladies. I just hate that I no longer have my original set. Above, I created scripture cards for each of the 24 days {this is basically a really cool Advent calendar that hangs on a tree...ahem, branch}. 

In our family, we read and discuss each scripture and how it is involved in the birth of Jesus. We pray together. Sometimes, we share a special thought on the scripture. Then we hang the ornament that correlates with that day on the tree. It's very informal. And y'all...it's a busy season. We don't beat ourselves up if we only have a moment to read the scripture that day and then head out the door. It's okay. 

{Just so my kids don't call me out on it...to be clear, one kid reads one day while the other hangs the ornament...then we switch the next day to keep it all fairsies.} Each ornament goes with a specific day, as mentioned above. We do not hang these on our regular Christmas tree...it's a separate smaller tree...ahem, branch

The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.
I enlarged a card above for you to see. I include the day and scripture. I underlined one word in the scripture as the "theme" of the day. The theme is always in direct correlation to the ornament. If you are creating ornaments to go with these, for this one, go with a baby {wink}.

The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.
You're definitely not too late to start this tradition right now. I promise you will be blessed by it. I know my family is definitely blessed by our Jesse Tree. 

Click below to download the Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition Scripture Cards. I made these just for you all...based on my family's scriptures that we use with our tree. They are 3.5x5" cards that print four to a page. It is a six-page document, total. These would be great to laminate. One suggestion I have is to attach each card to its ornament in the container you store them in. That way, it's super easy to find the ornament that goes with it. Of course, trying to keep all the ornaments in order is an entirely different story.

The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.

Thanks so much for joining me in this beloved tradition.
And again, it's a blog hop. Head over to Life Love Larson next!

And check out all of the amazing bloggers involved in this tour:
{a BIG thank you to Rachel from Like A Saturday for putting this together!}

The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.


The Jesse Tree Christmas Tradition | Free Printable Scripture Cards | A unique and blessed tradition to depict the story of the birth through ornaments and scriptures.







18 comments:

  1. I love Jesse Trees! I thought it was the coolest way to celebrate Advent when a friend told me about them a few years ago. We started collecting ornaments 2 years ago and we are so looking forward to starting this tradition with our kids someday. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. It really does keep the true spirit of Christmas special and meaningful. The kids love it! Thank you for the sweet comment, Rachel!

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    1. Thank you, Andrea! It is a cherished tradition!

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  3. Learned something new today! The Jesse Tree is a great tradition!

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    1. I'm so glad I could share something new with you, Michelle!

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  4. I've heard mention of the Jesse tree...so fun to see how yours is done!

    ~Sarah

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  5. What a beautiful tradition! I've never heard of that but really really like it. We don't have kids and probably wont for a couple of years but I think I may start this regardless! Sometimes "grown ups" need more of a reminder than kids :)

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    1. You are absolutely right, Gracie! The Jesse Tree is a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas for ALL ages!

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  6. This is seriously SO sweet! What an awesome way to incorporate the true meaning of Christmas.

    xo,
    Kylie

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  7. I had never heard of the Jesse tree either, but it sounds like such a beautiful tradition! Thanks for the printables too!

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    1. Thank you, Katie! I hope you enjoy the printables!

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  8. I never knew what a Jesse tree was! I've heard of it before and now that I know what it is... what a wonderful tradition to share with your family, we'll definitely have to talk about doing this with our kids when they're bigger.

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    1. It really is a lot of fun...and a great way of remembering the true meaning of Christmas! Thank you bunches for stopping by, Colleen!

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