Happy Advent! I have done an Advent calendar and devotional every year with Maggie the month leading up to Christmas, but this year, I wanted to do something even more meaningful with her, a Jesse Tree. I didn't know how to go about it, but then I stumbled across this great book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp, and I started to get excited! The book is so beautifully written and the illustrations are so colorful and bright. It was a plus for me that the author homeschools, too!
To expand our understanding, we are also reading from The Jesse Tree, by Geraldine McCaughrean, which delivers the information as a story, from beginning to end. Once we read from Voskamp's book, we read the corresponding part of the story out of this book and it's going well.
But, after our reading, it was time for the fun part -- putting together our Jesse Tree! I picked up a little 4-foot, lit tree from Michael's for less than thirty bucks and told Maggie that we could put it in our dining room for our Jesse Tree ornaments. Here she is, helping me put it together.
Now, it's ready for ornaments! Voskamp's book has an option to purchase paper ornaments to go with the devotionals, but I thought it would be more meaningful to come up with and make our own.
Our first ornament from yesterday (December 1st) was the stump of Jesse. For this ornament, I purchased a birch slice at the craft store (Hobby Lobby) and screwed in an eye screw at the top. Then, we wrote the verse from the book (Isaiah 11:1) on the slice. Next, we cut a bright green leaf from some felt, to represent Jesus, and hot glued it to a bright green pipe cleaner (the "shoot"). We then hot glued that right to the stump. Lastly, we added a hook to the eye screw.
It turned out so cute!
For today, December 2nd, we learned about God's creation, then set out to make a globe for our ornament using a blue ball ornament and a green paint pen. (We got this idea from http://beautyandbedlam.com/jesse-tree-advent/.) Once our "land" was added with the paint pen and it had dried, we strung some gold star ribbon through the ornament's loop to resemble the heavens.
We were both ticked with the end result!
We are so excited about our Jesse Tree!
Two ornaments down, and many left to go!
Tomorrow, our ornament will reflect the sin that entered the world. Check back with us!