Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting The Jesse Tree Ready - Advent!

Our very empty Christmas...I mean...Jesse Tree.

Today, the kids woke up to find a very empty Christmas tree on the front table.  While lots of other families are already knee-deep in Christmas traditions, we are just waking up from our turkey-coma, I guess, and thinking about the upcoming Jesus celebration.  Christmas is about Jesus, right?  Just checking...

Instead of decking the halls and throwin' up the tinsel, we will be slowly adding ornaments to our Christmas tree.  By the 25th, our tree should be full of picture stories about the greatest Story of all: how Jesus came to us weary people on the earth to bring us back to life!

Don't get me wrong, I am totally into a beautifully decorated home this time of year.  I love poinsettias (got 'em on the front porch), nativity scenes, twinkling lights and yards of shiny ribbon wrapped around everything.  I guess its all the prep that scares me a bit.  And, the cleaning.  And storing.  And buying.  And, a general flair for making your house look...put together.  That's something that is lacking in the department of my brain that, for other people, is second nature.  So, decorate your houses with freedom and bring on the bling!  Just don't expect it here when you come for coffee!  

So, our main tradition (an early one...really...this is our second year) is adding to our Jesse Tree each day.  What is a Jesse Tree?  Basically, there was a prophesy in Isaiah about how from the stump of Jesse (the father of King David), that a branch would spring up and bear fruit, bringing Hope back into the world that had been cut-off from it, like the stump.  That branch would be the Messiah.  The Messiah was Jesus!  So, a tradition was started to retrace the line of stories of God's redemptive acts throughout the Old Testament...leading to Jesus.  On Christmas Day, the last day of our study, we will read about the birth of our Messiah King.  

And, each day, at the end of our Bible story reading, we will hang the corresponding ornament (a mere paper picture) on the tree to have a visual reminder of what we're looking forward to...His coming.  Here's the first ornament:

I took the picture from our devotional, glued it onto some red construction paper (fancy, right?), and taped some silver ribbon on the back.

Scotch tape.  What can be simpler than that?
The first ornament on the tree.  See?  Easy-peasy!

Where can you get a free copy of the devotional we're following this year? Go to A Holy Experience and subscribe to their email list of posts from Ann Voskcamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts.  She has given this Jesse Tree Devotional as a "thank you" to subscribers.  Go ahead - subscribe!  Ann Voskcamp is a gem.

Happy Advent!

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