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.”
“Think of a Jesse Tree as a sort of advent calendar, except that in addition to a countdown to Christmas, you go through a family devotion in the Bible, starting with creation and ending with Jesus’ birthday. Every evening for about four weeks until Christmas, the family reads through a devotional, talks about the lesson, and hangs the appropriate ornament on the Jesse Tree. Each lesson walks chronologically through the Bible, highlighting historical moments that lead to the birth of Jesus.” ~ Tsh from Simple Mom
I found The Glorious Coming: A Jesse Tree Advent Celebration by Ann Voskamp long before I read this book (if you haven’t read it yet, add it to your wish list now & thank me later). I have now started reading her blog regularly and stumbled upon a new, updated version that she is offering as a free printable. You can get it here . As a side note, she also offers a similar devotional with ornaments for Lent & a Jesus Easter Tree .
Here are a few more devotionals that I have:
The Jesse Tree by Raymond and Georgene Anderson
Jesse Tree Devotions by Marilyn S. Breckenridge
But we also have the storybook version of The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean which I really like. Description from the editor, “As Mr. Butterfield carves a Jesse Tree in a dusty old church, a curious young boy distracts him by asking about the various symbols on the tree. Against his inclination, thegruff old man finds himself retelling the familiar biblical tales that trace the family tree of Christ, from the Garden of Eden to Jesus’ birth. Under the carpenter’s skilled hands, the Jesse Tree grows—and an unlikely friendship begins to take root as well.”
There are countless resources available online for free as well. Just search for Jesse Tree and I am sure you will find something that will work well for your family.
A few more links to help get your search started:
Scripture outline found here.
I also like Kirstin of Kojo Designs idea of making 25 ornaments for the names of Jesus. One for each day of December.
Some people make their own ornaments. If you like that idea, but are craft-challenged like me then perhaps this could help. Or this ready to assemble DIY kit. She also offers the PDF pattern for much less. Or this tutorial is really cute.
Keep in mind that most devotional books you purchase have ornaments that you can cut out & use. I have also seen people use everyday items/toys around the house to symbolize each day’s reading. Just like in this in-depth post by Catherine. She even lists out the page numbers for each day’s reading in both the The Beginner’s Bible by Zondervan and The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm, which can be extremely helpful when reading the scripture portions of the devotionals to pre-school children. You could even have a scavenger hunt in Hobby Lobby one day and search for items & ornaments that would work.
I really love the idea of hosting an ornament exchange party like these ladies. Just make sure you call me if you decide to host one, because I want to play!
Of course, you could also do a “quick” search on Pinterest.
If you decide to incorporate a Jesse Tree into your advent preparations this year, I would love to hear all about it. Details, please. If you already celebrate using a Jesse Tree, please share your family’s tradition.
If you have been wanting to implement a family devotion time into your evening routine, the Jesse Tree is a great place to start. The spirit of the season has the little (and big) people excited and eager for new adventures. Once the month is over, you have established a new habit that can now continue on past the season. In readiness for His second coming.
“He’s coming. Let’s prepare.” ~ Ann Voskamp