We are doing an advent tree (or Jesse tree as they are also called) this year at our house! Basically, an advent tree is a way for families to celebrate advent by studying the story of Christ beginning with Genesis, the Fall, and the promise of a Savior and ending with the birth of Christ. Each day there is a lesson and a symbol to put on an ornament for your tree. There are many variations on this idea on all over the internet (just google Jesse Tree), so my goal is not to post each of the daily lessons. However, I did want to share the one that we are doing because I think that this is a great book to own anyway!

We are using the advent tree devotions in Disciplines of a Godly Family by Kent and Barbara Hughes. The advent tree is an appendix in the back of the book. This is a book that I highly recommend! Kent and Barbara cover topics such as family affection, family traditions, pursuing family ministry, using appropriate discipline, and teaching good manners. They write from a solidly biblical perspective, and are also very creative people who lived life to the fullest with their children! Definitely worth reading, and a great resource to come back to as seasons in your family change.

This link is an affiliate link, so I will earn a percentage of the sale for any of you who buy the book. I also can’t figure out how to make this Amazon box fit neatly into the post… Web design is not my forte!

Today we did Day 1 (it was supposed to start yesterday, we’re already a day behind…). The theme for the day was “The Light of Creation.” We read Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-5. We discussed what it means that Jesus is the “Word.” I taught Aidan the Greek word “logos” and we discussed that it means “ideas, wisdom, divine reason.” So, when the Bible says that Jesus is the Word, it means that He is God’s wisdom. He is God in the flesh to show us what is true. Out of all the ideas out there, Jesus reveals the true ideas.

We made this ornament today:

The symbol for today was the rising sun to remind us that God created light and that Jesus is the Light of the World. We used cardboard from a cereal box. We cut out a circle, and glued red construction paper on one side. We drew the sun on white paper, and glued that on the other side of the cardboard. To hang it, we glued some string on in between the layers, and we added some Christmas colored beads, just for fun.

Our finished ornament.

We are using this miniature Christmas tree that I got when I was 11 or 12 years old. Part of the base is missing, so hopefully it will turn up tomorrow when we decorate for Christmas! If not, we’ll have to get creative… You can even use a branch from a tree in your yard for your Jesse Tree.

After dinner, we took the lesson a step further by experiencing the dark! Jordan made an “obstacle course” of furniture and things between our kitchen and front door. The boys had to leave the kitchen and find their way to the front door in the dark. Then, we turned the lights on and did it again – except much faster that time! We are so glad that God created light!

I think that this is going to be a really enriching experience for our family. I was struck today by the fact that Jesus is our Light – he shows us what is true out of all the ideas that are out there. In this day and age, we are overwhelmed by all the information available to us. How much time am I spending studying God’s revealed truth?

Linked to Frugal Friday

Are any of you doing a Jesse Tree this year? How are you doing yours? What ideas do you have?


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  1. free2befrugal Dec 3, 2010

    I have been looking for simple printable coloring page versions of the Jesse tree ornaments all over and haven't had luck. I love the idea of drawing you own! Smart!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Stop by and visit me sometime over at Free 2 Be Frugal.

    1. Rena Dec 3, 2010

      We're doing a Jesse Tree for the first time this year. I found these ornaments online for my son to color: http://images.rca.org/docs/discipleship/jessepatterns.pdf. He's just two so we'll be keeping it pretty simple.

    2. Sarah Dec 3, 2010

      We may look super creative for drawing our own... but one of the main reasons is that we are out of printer ink! We need to not spend money right now, and so drawing our own is better than reworking the budget! It is working well, though, and the boys like to color in the ornaments and help with the gluing. (I'm keeping my eye out for a deal on a laser printer - buying ink jet ink is just too expensive!) Thanks for reading!

  2. Sherry Dec 3, 2010

    I haven't ever done a Jesse tree. What a wonderful experience! :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kristalyn Dec 3, 2010

    i am not doing one in our home but noticed this blog does one and is filled with crafts.

  4. Melissa Barnett Dec 3, 2010

    We made Jesse tree ornaments today in my Mops group. We will put one on the tree each day and follow the devotion they gave us from www.aholyexperience.com. I am really excited about it. It uses familiar bible stories to tell how a Savior was needed and prophesied.


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