December 13, 2011

Our Jesse Tree

Phew, it was a long weekend! Someone, we won't name names, is cutting his two top teeth at the same time. Oh boy!

But here is what I actually want to tell you about -- our Christmas tree! Since we're heading over to Washington for Christmas (only one week till we're there!), we didn't want to get a huge Christmas tree. Instead we got this potted one from Fred Meyer. And we're decorating it a little differently from your average Christmas tree. This is our "Jesse" tree. We made all the ornaments ourselves (can you tell? haha), and each one represents part of the story of the world (from the Bible :)) leading up to Jesus. We got some of our ideas for ornaments from this link, although we changed a few because we're not Roman Catholic. :) We also added some of our own (still from the Bible, of course!), because we're using it kind of like an advent calendar, adding one ornament a day. We needed to make sure there were enough ornaments for all of Advent! (And this also explains why it looks kind of skimpy still -- not all of the ornaments are on yet)

This is the first year we've done this and so far I really like it! I think it will be fun, too, as we have kids that are old enough to help make the ornaments every year (we just used salt dough -- super cheap, so we don't mind throwing it away!). It's been neat hearing a new part of the story every night, as we read the section from the Bible that tells about our ornament.

Here is our list of ornaments:

Day 1: A star, for creation.
Day 2: Adam and Eve (two ornaments for that day!)
Day 3: A tree with a snake on it, for the Fall.
Day 4: A rainbow, for Noah.
Day 5: A torch, for Abraham (when the torch went between the pieces of the animals)
Day 6: An altar, for Isaac.
Day 7: A ladder, for Jacob.
Day 8: A stripey long-sleeved coat, for Joseph.
Day 9: A baby in a basket, for Moses.
Day 10: A bundle of red yarn, for Rahab.
Day 11: A jaw-bone, for Sampson.
Day 12: A jar (of anointing oil :)) for Samuel.
Day 13: A shepherd's staff, for Jesse.
Day 14: A crown, for David.
Day 15: The temple, for Solomon.
Day 16. A chariot, for Elijah.
Day 17: A brick, for Nehemiah & the rebuilding of the temple.
Day 18: A saw, for Joseph.
Day 19: Hm...we're supposed to have something here for Mary, but we forgot to make her ornament! Oops. We'll figure something out.
Day 20. A bee, for John the Baptist (since he ate honey :))
The next ones are all about Jesus
Day 21: An open scroll, because Jesus is the Word of God.
Day 22: The burning bush, because Jesus is I am that I am.
Day 23: A rose, because Jesus is the flower of Jesse.
Day 24: A key, because Jesus is the key of David.
Day 25: The sun, because Jesus is the Radiant Dawn.
Day 26: A scepter, because Jesus is the King of the World.
Day 27: A baby, because Jesus is Emmanuel, "God with Us"
Day 28: A candle, because Jesus is the Light of the World.

Ryan has a very good memory for scripture passages, so he can turn straight to the places in the Bible that talk about each of our ornaments.

There are 28 instead of 25 because we started our Advent "count-down" on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27th. So I guess we technically needed even one more ornament! Oh well. We're still working the kinks out.


  1. I love it! What a fun idea. How did y'all decided which symbols to use? There are so many stories and objects to choose from, it must have been difficult.

  2. Well, we used the ideas from the link (which is unfortunately invisible...there, but invisible...) as a jumping off point. And for the rest, Rahab for instance, we just picked our favorite stories. Rahab is part of Jesus's family, you know, so it seemed good to have her in!

    Next year we will probably do a few different ones. Ryan was saying just last night that he would like more stories from Judges. :) He thinks it's silly that our ornaments skip a large chunk of history.

  3. I *love* this! What a great idea! And you're right, it would be super fun to do with kids when they're a little bit older. I may have to pin this so I remember. :-D