An idea was planted in my head a few years back when my friend and I were looking at a Jesse tree book. She thought it would be neat to find all the objects in that book and use them as ornaments and a countdown to Christmas in December. I loved this idea but our kids were young and we knew it would take a while to find all the objects, so we tucked it away. I was curious if this Jesse tree idea was universal and included all the same objects, so I began to casually look at every Jesse tree book I could find making a comparison list of many of them. I was surprised to find many Jesse tree variations and each one highlighted different Bible stories, prophesies, or religious Christmas related words and verses.
The words, Jesse tree, come from the prophecy in the Bible where God says that a branch will come from the stump of Jesse. A stump or root is left of a tree cut down and almost dead. God says that there is still life in this tree, and true to his words, His Son of Life comes from the line of Jesse through David his son. Jesse is the stump of the recorded family line of Jesus — an earthly family tree. I began to think about Jesus’ family tree. He was born into a full and very interesting family tree, and it’s his birth into this earthly family that we are celebrating at Christmas. He became human. This is how the idea to use Jesus’ family tree as a countdown originated. Each member of this family tree could have been labeled with many awful descriptions, undeserving of this honor. But there they are, included in the family line of Jesus. The time spent studying these people has changed my perspective of God and how I look at people.
So fast forwarding to today, I pushed hard this year to get all thoughts condensed on paper and a rough drawing done so our family could test this countdown out for December this year. Today we start! I’m sure that there will be lots of adjustments and rewording needed but it’s a start. We will do one ornament each morning on a little tree in the dining room. The other ornaments are displayed on a ring and provide the countdown to Christmas. The kids have been watching me work on this and have been curiously excited for December 1st to come. I love visuals they can touch. The more senses kids use the better they remember.