About twelve years ago, I was teaching 3rd grade. During the month of December I gave each of my students a chance to share their favorite family Christmas tradition. One of the young men in my class shared about his family’s favorite tradition–The Jesse Tree. I had never heard of this before, but my student made quite an impression on me. Most kids talked about Santa, presents, and treats…but the Jesse Tree was about Jesus.
When my daughter was born 11 years ago, and my husband and I started the discussion of creating our own family traditions at Christmas–we both agreed that making Christmas about Jesus and His birth was a BIG priority to us. So we started praying, and searching for a way to help teach our children about WHAT Christmas is all about. The Jesse Tree was the answer for us.
So, what is a Jesse Tree?
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
Isaiah 11: 1-3
There are some beautiful devotions and books available that tell the story of the Jesse Tree. As we started looking at what we would choose as a family, we had a hard time finding something specifically for young children. Our kids relate so much to the power of narrative…a story. That is when the idea for this devotional was born. After two years of trying this and trying that, my husband and I decided to sit down and with the Lord’s help, create a devotional book for our kids in this stage of life. Thus, The Jesse Tree Project was born.
Along with writing the devotional, we got together with some other families and made ornaments. Each mom in the exchange made 24 of the same ornaments and then met together to “swap.” We each came away with a unique, special, hand-made set of Jesse Tree ornaments. This proved to be so much fun, the next year we did it again. And then again and again. This Christmas will be our eighth year to do the Jesse Tree.
We invite you to join us in this meaningful tradition with your family!
You can do that in one of two ways:
Purchase the E-book with 24 family devotions from Creation through Christ’s birth along with printable ornaments OR
Lead an Ornament Exchange and create a handmade, memorable set of 24 ornaments to share with your family.
Maybe you already love the Jesse Tree, or maybe this is your first time to hear about it. Either way, thanks for stopping by here and letting us share something we love. Please let us know if you plan to join the Jesse Tree Project. We would love to pray for you and your family!