Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Journey of the Jesse Tree

The Jesse Tree is becoming a beloved Christmas tradition for my little family.
We haven't been doing it for many years so it is yearly changing in one way or another as I attempt to find the best elements to include in this daily activity.
Anyhow, I thought I'd fill you in on what we're doing different this year.
It's helpful to me to be able to look back and see what we did and what worked or didn't work too!

Last year, we had our Jesse Tree in the kitchen.
We read the readings as a family and added a corresponding picture to the tree.
Our Jesse tree came into being last year too - simply painted on brown packing paper with relevant verses and quotes added around the branches.

This year we are using the same tree but it is posted in the living room at the kids' level.
We did the readings as a part of our school time for the month of December as opposed to at supper time.
(We simply found it difficult to stay consistent with it at the end of the day. I knew if it became a part of our school routine there would be a far greater likelihood of it happening!)
For our readings, we are using The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean.
And instead of simply posting pictures, the girls colored a picture while I read.
They loved this and enjoyed getting to post their picture on the tree every day.

Although they don't quite understand the importance of the lineage of Christ at this point, I think it is important to establish this tradition now.
They love hearing all the different Bible stories and at this stage I simply focus on the fact that God keeps His promises.
In particular His promise of a Rescuer.
The journey of the Jesse Tree shouts this loud and clear!

For next year, I'm not positive I'll use the same book.
It was good but not great.
I'm half debating using The Jesus Storybook Bible since each story points out how "every story whispers His name".
The whole Bible points to Jesus.
It's amazing really - to see God's plan unfold.

I also came across the following song that I think would be really fun to teach the kids in connection to the Jesse Tree.
It makes me happy that someone could take what can appear to be a very dull portion of scripture and turn it into a catchy tune!

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