While we certainly love the decorating, caroling, treats, gifts and all the sweet, special things that make Christmas such a wonderful holiday, last year we started teaching the kids the true meaning of Christmas using the Jesse Tree Advent custom.
The Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus. It tells the story of God’s salvation, beginning with creation and continuing through the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.”
Sunday marked the beginning of Advent and the first day of our Jesse Tree teachings. Each night after dinner and once we’re in our jammies, we snuggle up in the living room by the tree and read the daily scripture, talk about what it means and hang the day’s ornament on our Jesse Tree. We are using this guide for our daily devotional. I also used the drawings on that site for templates to create our ornaments. For just a few dollars, I picked up white felt, gold glitter paint and gold cording to make the ornaments. There are also ready-made sets out there if you are interested in starting this tradition but don’t want to make all the ornaments.
This has become the sweetest part of my day and something I look forward to doing for many more years!