I had first heard of a Jesse Tree on the God Centered Mom Podcast (now renamed “Don’t Mom Alone Podcast”). On her episode, Christmas Traditions with Little Ones, Heather interviewed Jacki Rucksdashel and together they discussed ways to make a big impression on little hearts during the Christmas season.
At this time in my life I was really questioning what type of values we should have and what type of vision we should cast for our family. Growing up, my family didn’t carry on too many traditions but I knew it was something I’d like to practice with our children.
While listening to the podcast I was particularly drawn to the idea of a Jesse Tree because it seemed like something I could start early (with my then two and three year old sons) and it was a tangible way for them to connect with the true meaning of Christmas.
Now, I know you all are quietly asking yourself “Who in the world is Jesse and what does he have to do with Christmas?!?” It’s ok, I thought the same thing too. *wink* So, before I go any further, let me tell you what a Jesse Tree is.
A Jesse tree is essentially an advent count down (or up?) of key biblical characters leading to the birth of Jesus Christ. Developer of The Jesse Tree Project, Jacki Rucksdashel, describes it like this;
“The Jesse Tree is a way of telling the story of God’s plan from the beginning of time to redeem His people by sending a Savior. It follows the lineage of Christ’s family and key people in the Old Testament that God uses to tell His story from Creation through Christ’s birth. It is a countdown daily to Christmas with the telling of a story, and an ornament that acts as a symbol and visual reminder of the story.”
Since we’ve started following the devotional during the Christmas season, we have been able to sow little seeds in our children’s hearts of biblical accounts. Each year our children giggle with delight as we pull our Jesse Tree and recall memories of us sitting around the dinner table sharing stories of Adam and Eve and singing “Only a Boy named David”. Although, the David and Goliath account isn’t technically included in the devotional, it was certainly a springboard into David’s story.
This year, I organized an ornament exchange in our local community and it was so much fun. I was amazed at each ornament and the creativity from each person who made it. But to me, the most exciting part is that each ornament will be a vessel for sharing the gospel with our children.
As a way to share my excitement about it with you, I am partnering with The Jesse Tree Project on Instagram and together we are giving away a set of ornaments from our local exchange AND a printed copy of the devotional. So be sure to check it out!
And because I love y’all so very much I also created FREE silhouette printable ornaments that follows the Jesse Tree devotional (although her ebook does come with a set of ornaments as well!) Print on cardstock, cut, hole punch and BAM! Instant ornaments. Or, you can do like I did and mod podge them on to wooden ornaments to make them a little more durable.
Free Jesse Tree Silhouette Printable
Note: There are a total of six printable pages so be sure to click on the”download” button for each one to get access to them all!
If you would like to order your copy of The Jesse Tree Project you can purchase it here. As well listen to the Don’t Mom Alone Podcast episode #142 Christmas Traditions with Little Ones with Heather McFadyen.
I hope you’ll use this time leading up to Christmas to consider what traditions you’d like to start with your little ones and maybe you’ll even consider starting your own Jess Tree!