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The Jesse Tree

Advent is a time of waiting, a time of anticipation and preparation for the coming of Jesus. There are many ways to get ready for Christmas. One way is through a Jesse Tree.

What is a Jesse Tree? It is a tree branch decorated with symbols representing the stories of people in Jesus' family tree. In Isaiah 11:1 we read, "A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots." Jesse was the father of David, Israel's greatest king. And it was from David's lineage that Jesus came. That's where the idea of using a Jesse Tree to celebrate Advent came from. Before a symbol is hung on the branch, a Bible passage or a story from a story Bible is read.

Online, you will find:

Additional Resources

Advent & Lent Activities for Children: Camels, Carols, Crosses, and Crowns (Bestseller), by Shiela Kielly and Sheila Geraghty. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1996.

The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas, by Dean Meador Lambert. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1990.

Come to Christmas: The Customs of the Advent Season. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1993.

The Jesse Tree, by Geraldine McCaughrean (illustrated by Bee Willey). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2003.

Jesse Tree Devotions: A Family Activity for Advent, by Marilyn S. Breckenridge. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1985.

Jesse Tree Kit: An Advent Project for Family, Classroom or Parish, by Lynn M. Simms. Pauline Books and Media, 2006.

Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family, by Kathleen Basi. Liguori Publications, 2010.

The Jesse Tree: Stories and Symbols of Advent, by Raymond and Georgene Anderson. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1990.

"The Remembering Tree: Using the Jesse Tree to Prepare Ourselves for Christ's Birth," by Ruth Vander Hart. Reformed Worship #29.

* The Jesse Tree patterns are in the Portable Document Format (PDF), allowing you to download and print them. To do so, you will need a free copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 5.0 or later).

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