Jesse Tree Ornament Exchange
When my friend, Jessica, invited me to be a part of her Jesse Tree Ornament Exchange, it took me all of 30 seconds to say “yes” and sign up for my ornament. I chose the slingshot. I had been wanting to incorporate a Jesse Tree into our Advent traditions for a number of years, but never found the time to craft 25 different ornaments in order for this to happen. That’s why an ornament exchange is, in a word, brilliant!
Remember the Toddler Busy Bag Swap? Same idea here. Each person (25 persons total) was assigned a different Jesse Tree Ornament and tasked with the job of duplicating their ornament 25 times. Doing it this way makes things easier, more affordable, and much more time efficient.
If you are unfamiliar with a Jesse Tree, my friend, Jess, summed it up well in her invitation:
“Using a Jesse Tree at Advent involves a series of 25 daily scriptures, devotional readings, and symbolic ornaments. Each day’s theme teaches a piece of redemption history, beginning with creation and culminating with the birth of Jesus. It is visual, interactive, and adaptable to all ages. A Jesse Tree is a great way to lead children through the story and build anticipation for Christ’s coming. Of course, we as parents will benefit, too!”
There are several different versions of the Jesse Tree tradition, but all of them focus on the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Christ. The ornaments serve as a wonderful symbol to help children connect more deeply with each passage of Scripture.
Our family will begin our Jesse Tree today in order to give us a full 25 days (one ornament each day) in our home before we head to Texas for the holidays. We will not include these ornaments on our large Christmas tree, but a shorter table top version.
One thing Jess asked us to do (once the exchange was over) was to post pictures of the ornaments on our blog. A number of us noted that when looking for ornament ideas online, we found very few resources that were actually helpful. Our hope is that families who want to incorporate a Jesse Tree into their Advent season could find help and inspiration here.
As far as Jesse Tree devotional resources go, we have this book (pictured below) and plan to use it this year in conjunction with our ornaments and Scripture passages.
Here are a few other devotionals you could use that are free online:
If your family uses a Jesse Tree, please let us know what devotional you use or any additional resources that could be helpful. I’m sure we will tweak and change things a bit as the children get older, but I’m happy for us to get started this year!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Day 1- Globe
Story of Creation: Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-4
Day 2- Apple and a Snake
Story of the First Sin: Genesis 3:1-10, 23; Isaiah 53:6; 1 John 1:8-10; Isaiah 59:2
Day 3- Ark with a Rainbow
Story of the Ark: Genesis 5-9:7; Romans 6:23; Joshua 23:14
Day 4- Camel and a Tent
Story of the Call to Abram: Genesis 12:1-7; Hebrews 11:8; Matthew 1:1
Day 5- A Lamb
Story of Isaac and the Lamb/Ram: Genesis 22:1-13; Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19
Day 6- A Ladder
Story of Jacob’s Ladder: Genesis 27:41-28:22
Day 7- A Colorful Coat
Story of Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors: Genesis 37-50, especially 50:18-21; Romans 8:28
Day 8- A Tablet with Numbers
Story of Moses and the Ten Commandments: Exodus 1-15; 20; 32:15-18; Psalm 119:11; Galatians 3:19
Day 9- A Cluster of Grapes
Story of Canaan, the Promised Land of Blessings: Numbers 13-14:38; 24:17; Psalm 103:2
Day 10- A Sheaf of Wheat
Story of Ruth and Boaz: Ruth 1-4; Matthew 1:5
Day 11- A Slingshot
Story of King David: 1 Samuel 16-17
Day 12- A Scroll or Bible
Story of Josiah Finding the Law: 2 Kings 22-23:25; Psalm 119:105
Day 13- a Stump with a Fresh Shoot or Leaf
Prophecy of a Shoot from the Stump of Jesse: Isaiah 11:1-5, 10; John 1:14a; 1 Samuel 16:1-3;
Day 14- a Lion and a Lamb
Prophecy of the Lion and the Lamb Resting Together: Isaiah 11:6-10; Matthew 25:31-46;
Revelation 21:1-7; Philippians 2:9-11
Day 15- a Dove and a Crown
Prophecy of the Prince of Peace: Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:2-7; John 14:27
Day 16- a Lamb and a Staff
Prophecy of a Gentle Shepherd: Isaiah 40:9-11; Psalm 23; John 10:27; John 10:11-16
Day 17- a Cross
Prophecy of a Suffering Servant: Isaiah 53; Luke 2:8-18; John 19:11-18; John 10:15; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22; Romans 5:9-10
Day 18- a Heart with writing on it
Prophesy of the New Covenant: Jeremiah 31:31-24; Acts 16:31; Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Hebrews 8-10
Day 19- a Bethlehem Town silhouette
Prophesy of Bethlehem: Micah 5:2-4; Luke 2:1-7
Day 20- a Fiery Furnace
Story of the Exile: 2 Kings 17:1-23; 25:1-17; Daniel 3; Jeremiah 1:8
Day 21- a Brick Wall
Story of the Return to the Land: Ezra 1; Nehemiah 6:15-16; Malachi 3:1; Revelation 22:20
Day 22- a Star
Story of the Star: Matthew 2:1-12; Numbers 24:17; Revelation 22:16; 2 Peter 1:19
Day 23- a Candle or Light
Story of the Light of the World: Luke 1:26-56; 2:21-33; John 1:4-9; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Isaiah 42:6;
John 8:12; Revelation 21:23-24; Isaiah 60:1-3
Day 24- an Angel
Story of Angels Proclaiming the Coming of Christ: Luke 2:8-14; Hebrews 1:1-4; Psalm 91:11
Day 25- a Baby in a Manger
Story of the Birth of Jesus: Matthew 2:1-7; Luke 2:1-21