I finally got to meet with my friend Stacy and one of her three other friends who participated in the Jesse Tree Ornament Exchange. It was so much fun to see how amazingly creative everyone is. If I do this again I will probably get clarification first about the size of the ornaments. Our Jesse Tree is about 18-24 inches tall. We bring it to the table every morning with our basket of Jesse Tree Ornaments and over breakfast, read the Jesse Tree Devotional of the day, and put the ornament of the day on the tree. Obviously, as you will see in the pictures, some people’s trees are larger than mine. Other than the sheaf of wheat I made, all my other ornaments are around two inches high or less. Not so the case with the adorable camel in the tent for the story of Abraham. It’s big enough that it needed its own photo. :). I guess that means I get to buy a new, taller tree on clearance after Christmas. 🙂
Now, I’ve seen many kinds of Jesse Trees, so don’t despair if you don’t have an evergreen. My friend has hers hanging down off the mantle of her fireplace from a rope. You can use a bare branch from outside, stuck firmly in a pot. Hang them off a thin dowel on the wall if you want. The point is not to stress over the ornaments or the tree or even the devotional. I’ve used my kids’ beginner’s Bible and simply read the stories that correspond to the devotional. Ann Voskamp’s Advent Jesse Tree devotional with ornaments to print out is FREE. The Advent Jesse Tree by Dean Lambert Smith is another lovely book that has devotionals for both older and younger children. You can’t get any more beautiful words or pictures for this season.
The point is to remember what God has done and is doing in the history of mankind–and then thank Him for it. Marvel at His deeds and treasure them in your heart. Over and over God tells the people to remember what He has done. The Jesse Tree provides a path through history, showing God’s faithfulness to all generations. Remember with your family. Praise the Lord for His amazing, extraordinary gift of His son. Sow the seeds of gratitude deep into your family’s heart. It’s not too late to get started!