Over the past couple of years, it seems I've been hearing more and more about creating a Jesse Tree with children. I am very intrigued by any idea that combines a fun family tradition with learning more about God and keeping Him central to our holiday celebration. And, had really wanted to do this last year - but it did not happen. This is the year!!
After searching the internet, it seems there are a variety of ways of doing this. Some suggested printing out pages to be colored and using those for the ornaments. Others suggested a list of ornaments and kind of left you on your own to gather them from here or there. Neither of these really seemed like the best for me - so when I came across this site, I was very excited at the options they offered.
I ordered the iron-on transfer set and began working on my ornaments. The patterns were easy to use and the iron-on worked great! I decided on my fabric and chose to complete all the stitching in red. Since no store near me sells embroidery floss, I knew I needed to keep it simple. And, I love how these turned out.
After completing all the hand stitching, I cut each circle out and stitched around the edge on the sewing machine - which also attached the hanger.
Now, I will admit that I had a great dilemma in choosing a tree to use. I wanted something with character and something not expensive. I saw a couple of trees that I really liked, but they were just too expensive. I asked a fellow blogger if she had any ideas and she mentioned seeing a tree made out of a drying rack. Something about that picture in my mind made me remember a set of free unopened Tinker Toys that I had stashed in my closet.
I wavered on this idea quite a bit too - because there is certainly nothing reverent about it, but it is playful and fun - my girls love it! And, it was free and using something I already had on hand. It will be super easy to store, etc...
I potted the tree in a small julep cup that my mom had given me, just slide a bit of floral foam down inside and make a small tree skirt from felt to cover the foam. I also made a paper star for the top and added a bow to the pot. That was it!
Each night at dinner, we add another ornament to our Jesse Tree and review the ornaments from the night before. We also read the daily devotional that I ordered with my iron-on set. I pray that this tradition will be a blessing to my family and a way of teaching my children about the prophecy of the Messiah throughout the Old Testament and why Jesus' birth is such a blessing to our lives.
As I was stitching the ornaments, it was a time of prayer for what they would mean to our family and I also wondered if they would be passed down someday to another generation of children learning the ways of God.
I am so thrilled that the lovely family behind the site where I ordered my iron-on set and devotional book is going to share some of their goodies with you!!
Three of you will win a devotional book and your choice of either the iron-on transfer set or the cross-stitch pattern.
To be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment sharing how you use the Jesse Tree in your own home or telling me what your favorite way of keeping the holiday focused on Christ with littles is. I am so eager to learn more creative ideas on this topic and can't wait to hear what you have to share.
Comments will be accepted until midnight tonight and winners will be chosen at random tomorrow.
I do hope you will visit the Jesse Tree site. As I explored, I was excited to find coloring pages, beautiful ornaments, parent devotions and ideas on implementing the Jesse Tree in your own home.