Last year, we introduced the Jesse Tree to our advent season. I really like the idea behind the tree because it starts at the beginning… Genesis and shares stories from the Old Testament that show the anticipation and prophecies of the Savior. It shares all the way through to the birth of Christ. Every night, we read a devotional and then add an ornament to our tree. Now.. you can get really fancy and buy a Jesse tree kit with ornaments and all… or you can go the route I did and make your own paper tree to tape on the wall and print out some ornaments, laminate and use tape to stick them on each night.
You can read more about how we do our Jesse Tree by clicking on the above picture.
Here are a couple of more handmade gift ideas. A sewing machine is needed for the first, but not so much for the second.
One of our favorite things about Christmas day is that we get to wear PJs ALL DAY! Seriously… my kids look forward to this all year! This year I made the kids PJ pants and picked up some thermal shirts on clearance at Wal-Mart… Tada… new PJs! Also… we moved from sunny Florida to the mountains of North Carolina this year and I realized that we needed some new hats. I used the left- over fleece from the pants to make hats as well.
I used this tutorial from one of my favorite sewing blogs, MADE to make the pants. It was super easy and took me less than an hour per pair!
For the hats, I used this site. You can use a sewing machine to do it faster… or if you’d rather just hand stitch, it still wouldn’t take much time. You may need to adjust your measurements if making it for a child.
Come back tomorrow to find out some free, family traditions we have. I’d love to hear from you as well. What are some of your favorite family traditions at Christmas time?
We are trying out a Jesse Tree in our house this year for the first time. I just heard about this the other day when a friend was asking for suggestions on how to make one. The idea is to have a very Christ- centered advent season. Each day, the family reads scripture and a devotion, then places an ornament representing what was read on the tree. The devotions and ornaments teach how Christ is throughout the Bible… not just the new testament. Day one talks about waiting and how the whole Old Testament anticipates the birth of the Savior.
There are several different ways to do a Jesse tree, several different kits you can buy, etc. I wanted to go the quick and painless route… so I started looking for websites that already had the devotion and verses picked out as well as the printouts ready to go.
I came across a web site from the Reformed Church of America that had a devotional and ornament printouts. It only took me about an hour to color, cut and cover the ornaments with contact paper (hopefully they will survive this year and we can use them in years to come).
I am keeping all the ornaments and devotion materials in a trusty zip- lock. Hopefully all the pieces will stay together. Little Sis has already been playing with the pieces, making up stories and generally ooo-ing and aaa-ing over them.
So… after gathering and preparing materials, the kids helped me color a big tree on easel paper. We hung it on their bedroom door and will be adding ornaments each day. They are very excited.
Again, I really like that the Jesse tree devotional shows Christ through the whole Bible! I feel that it gives a good sense of the big picture of the Bible while using familiar Bible stories.
On a side note, after seeing the ornaments that I had diligently colored, the Monkey Boy said, “Mommy, how did you get so good at coloring?!?” Years of practice, my boy… years of practice!