In our first year of marriage David and I started a tradition of doing the Jesse Tree version of a Christmas tree.
The Jesse tree tells the story of Christmas from the very beginning of creation until Jesus is born. The tree starts on the 1 December and runs until Christmas day. There is a bible reading with a corresponding ornament for your tree. I David and I made our own ornaments a few years ago. I printed them out and stuck them on cardboard. Click here for a link to a printable version of the ornaments. I also fond a really fun DIY version of the ornaments, which I think I want to either try this year as we continue with the readings or next year. Click here for the DIY ornaments.
I really love how God links everything. He uses everything to form a part of His whole story. The way the story is told always reminds me of how God really does use everything for His purpose. I also love how the Jesse tree illustrates how God loves us so much that he came up with the idea of sending His son to die for us. Not only did Jesus come and live with us, he experiences life the way we do – with all the temptations we face, struggles and joys. I think this helps us really know that Jesus understands us.
I also love how working through the Jesse tree every evening leading up to Christmas helps me keep my heart and mind focused on the real meaning of Christmas. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “consumerism” side of Christmas as the shopping gets done, the presents get wrapped and all the other things that can often distract us from the real meaning of Christmas.