Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reflecting on Jesus during the Christmas season

Here we are, barely out of the turkey leftovers, and quickly entering the CHRISTmas season.  I struggle with keeping my children grounded in the fact that Christmas isn't all about presents and Santa because that message is all around us; in catalogs, television ads, in the stores and in the news....but in fact, Christmas isn't about those things AT ALL!  Last year, I decided I wanted to implement another facet to our Christmas traditions, one that I had the opportunity to participate in as a child during my CCD (Catechism) classes and during the Sunday masses of the Advent season.  I wanted to work on a Jesse Tree with the kids.  Of course, I waited too long and didn't have much time to prepare and had lots of difficulty finding  just the right branches to use.  You can create your own "paper" tree branches to hang on the wall, but I wanted the real thing...real branches...from the nature that GOD created for us.  It's how I remembered it, and how I wanted to do it in our home.  Since I couldn't find anything that would work, we never got to create a Jesse Tree last year, sadly.  Now the Christmas season is upon us again and of course, the thoughts of creating a Jesse Tree came to surface in my memories.  I thought that I would venture out into the woods behind our new home this weekend and find something.   Today after Church, just like most Sundays, the kids go to play on the playground on the Church grounds.  I was so wonderously surprised to see 2 GREAT and PERFECT branches that I could use for our Jesse Tree.  Well, first I found one that was a bit lopsided only having branches sprouting out on one side.  I thought to myself, that just won't do.  I need it to have branches on both sides.  I turned around and there was another set of branches, perfectly fit so that when I tie them together, they are perfect for what we will use it for!!!  I've included some pictures here


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Now, I suppose some of you will wonder to yourselves...WHAT is a Jesse Tree?  The best way to explain it is it is a set of bare branches used to hang ornaments from that depict the story of Creation through the birth of Jesus, our Savior!  Each day we will read a passage from the Bible and participate in a family devotional.  That is the message of Christmas I want my children to learn; that there is NO GREATER gift than that of the gift of  JESUS CHRIST, our LORD and SAVIOR!!! 

Would you like to learn more about Jesse Trees and how to create one for your home?  Here are some resources that I pulled from to create our Jesse Tree and to learn more about the tradition.  I hope that you will enjoy using them with your family.

www.cresourcei.org/jesse.html
www.jesse-tree.com
www.eriercd.org/jessetree.htm
www.christiancrafters.com/jesse_tree.html
www.simplemom.net/jesse-tree

http://www.shalfleet.net/advent/JesseTree_symbols_printable.pdf (this is the set of ornament templates we will use.  I really liked the colors and clipart on these)

2 comments:

  1. [...] to read through their book) was the Jesse Tree. I wrote some about this Advent activity last year here, but it was something that I had done as a child in Church (many, many years ago) and wanted my [...]

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  2. [...] to read through their book) was the Jesse Tree. I wrote some about this Advent activity last year here, but it was something that I had done as a child in Church (many, many years ago) and wanted my [...]

    ReplyDelete