Saturday, December 3, 2011

Celebrating Advent :: Our Jesse Tree

Another favorite Advent activity in our family is the Jesse Tree, a little tradition that takes me back to my childhood days.

When Mom brought out the Jesse Tree, it meant that Advent had finally arrived, and Christmas was coming soon!  Hanging from little pegs on the back door, our Jesse Tree was a banner made from green silky fabric. It had bright red stitching and matching red fringe trim on the bottom.  The tree itself was made of green felt, decorated with rickrack and sequins, and glued to the banner.

I can remember helping make the ornaments...I think I must've been about Rose's age. We cut shapes out of felt for the ornaments, and sequinned, glittered and beaded them into exquisite works of art (in my eyes!).

Each day, we read a little story from Scripture and a devotion, then pinned an ornament on the tree.  As a little girl, these readings were very special and truly did make the message of Christmas vividly real for me.

And now as a grown Mama, it's very special for me to watch my children delight in it all!

I've had a few requests for the patterns and instructions for making our Jesse Tree, so even though we are already one week into the Advent season, I decided to post them anyway.

The patterns are actually my Mom's drawings, the same ones we used when I was a girl!  She has graciously agreed to let me post them here for you to use :)  (Thanks, Mom!) 

 Days 1-8                                   Days 9-16

Days 17-23                                     Days 24-25

The shapes can be traced and cut out of felt, then decorated with glitter, sequins, beads.  OR, they can be simply cut out and decorated as paper ornaments.

(I had hopes of preparing these images before advent began, but I only had time to quickly scan them & post them as-is.  There is quite a bit of shadowing and stray markings...but they should still work well as patterns, or for coloring in & decorating!)

There are many different ways of putting the tree together.  One idea is to hang your ornaments (with ribbon) on a little miniature Christmas tree (the table-top kind).  Or you could put them on your family's Christmas tree.

You could also make your own tree using twigs from your backyard in a vase or jar.  We used this idea for our Thankful Tree this past Thanksgiving & loved how it turned out!

Another quick and easy option is to cut a Christmas tree out of wrapping paper or construction paper and tape your (paper) ornaments there.

Here are our daily Scripture readings.  (Click here to download.)

Wishing you and your family an Advent season full of beautiful memories!


  1. thank you for sharing this! Such sweet memories that you carry into your family!

  2. Love how the Jesse Tree keeps our eyes on Jesus and the redemptive love of the Father. Looks like the ornaments are turning out beautiful!

  3. Just two years ago, Susan and I pulled out the same patterns from Grandma and used colored felt to make new ornaments for our old Jesse Tree! I don't think ours are quite as sparkly as yours are, though. :) Love this tradition. Can't wait to see you and your family in a few weeks!

  4. Hi, Christie! LOL, that is too funny! I imagine w/all the creativity in you girls that your ornaments turned out very cute ;) Are you still using the tree this year?? If it's out, maybe we could see it @ Christmas! We're all excited about seeing you guys,'s hoping none of the kiddos gets the flu this year! So nice to hear from you - hope your semester is wrapping up well!!

  5. Thanks, Sally! I keep checking your blog....hope you can come back to the 'sphere soon!

  6. Karen, I think that is the best part of traditions like this one :) And it's so wonderful to see my kiddos' hearts responding to it....something I'm sure you know well, too, lol!

  7. What a beautiful tradition, and beautiful ornaments! Your mom is very artistic--and so generous to share! I also love your other advent posts full of beautiful ideas. Thanks for sharing. :)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Things are pretty busy around our house, so I can't always leave as many replies as I would like to. But please know that I look forward to reading every note you send my way - they brighten my day! Blessings,Collette

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