Sharing our family’s faith traditions

Have you ever been “boo-ed”???  You know at Halloween, when you get a bag of treats with a little poem, and you’re supposed to copy it and “Boo” two other neighbors who don’t yet have a ghost hanging on their door? 

We decided this year to take the concept a little further and share an Advent treat instead.  We made four Jesse Tree sets for people we love … who we were pretty confident didn’t already have this particular Advent devotional resource.  We’re not expecting that the people who get this surprise turn right around and in two days or less, pass it along to unsuspecting neighbors or friends, but….

What if they really like it?  What if they decide that sharing the Jesse Tree stories with each other every night this month is special enough that next year they want to make some books and ornaments to give to some of their friends? 

So we printed and printed and printed.  If you want to print your own, you need to go to my sweet friend Ann’s blog, and put your email in the little box on the right to subscribe.  Then you get her new post as an email every day and the Jesse Tree file is linked right there on the end. 

If you do it fast, you can print it all out in time to start tomorrow.  Or you can wait until next year and maybe somebody we sent one to will make you a set 🙂

We also made trees.  I know that traditionally, the Jesse tree is, um, more, like three dimensional.  But we have a small kitchen with absolutely no room for anything that’s not flat and easy to put on a wall.  And we do our Jesse tree readings with supper, when everybody’s already together.   So it has to be in the kitchen.

We made our trees out of felt, so that the velcro on the back of the ornaments will stick (more about this in a minute)…  and to give the felt enough stability to hang nicely on the wall, we ironed fusible Pellon fleece to the back, then stuck a D ring on with ribbon to make it easy to hang.

We printed out all the pages of readings, and put them in page protectors in a three ring binder.  Then, on each page, we put the fuzzy side of a self-adhesive velcro dot over a blank spot on the page.

We printed out the ornaments on cardstock, put the date on each (because I know at our house it really helps if things stay organized) and laminated them.  Then we put the rough part of the velcro dot on the back.

Then each day’s ornament can stick onto the right page!  Is this totally cool or what?  So the child whose turn it is to put the ornament up can take it off the page, which is then unobscured for reading.  The velcro on the back of the ornament sticks right onto the felt of the tree.  And then after Christmas, you can put the ornaments back on to the right pages, ready for next year.  (this is where having the dates on them comes in handy 🙂 )

I considered putting all our ornaments up to be able to take a picture for you of what it all looks like, but certain children just thought that would be wrong.  Each ornament goes up on the right day, and that’s how it’s supposed to be, mom.  So you’ll have to imagine the end result.  How about on December 25 I post a photo of our finished tree??? 

Or you can make your own (unless you get one in the mail from us 🙂 ), and then you can send ME a picture.  I would LOVE to post a collection of photos of Jesse Trees on the 26th as a treat for Ann.  I can’t imagine how many hundreds of hours it took her to put all the words and pictures together, just to share with families like ours.  Let”s make it a date.  December 26, picture post for a thank you for Ann. 

One more thing… if you’re in a blog visiting mood, go meet my friend Patti.  She is, as always, doing amazing work to raise funds to rescue children with DS from orphanages in Eastern Europe, and she’s also having an amazing giveaway just in time for Christmas.    I would have sent her a custom made Ann Voskamp Jesse Tree book, but I was pretty sure she’s already made her own, and I have no doubt it’s way better than ours.  She’s one of those overachievers, you know.  So Patti, I expect a photo of your Jesse Tree in time for the 26th, just for Ann 🙂

8 thoughts on “Sharing our family’s faith traditions

  1. I love this! I’ve been looking for a good Advent calendar, and a durable, reusable, and toddler-friendly Jesse tree would be perfect. Might have to start a couple days late, since I’ll probably have to run to the store tomorrow, but since my kiddos are little, they won’t notice. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Your timing is so perfect! I’ve been wanting to make a Jesse Tree but haven’t been able to get all the ornaments made/found in time. This will work very well instead. My boys are going to love it!

  3. I LOVE this! I have been looking for something good to do with the kids in preperation for Christmas. I also love Ann and am in the middle of reading her book right now. I am going to have to start a few days late, but we will catch up! Thanks for this post! Hope you all are doing well. I love reading the updates on your sweet family. I can’t believe that Emily has a boyfriend! How exciting! Send my love to all!

  4. Thanks for posting this. I always get Ann’s emails and never noticed the link at the bottom. Well we finally got ours laminated and caught up to the correct day. I’ll send you a picture on the 26th. Blessings to you and your family.

  5. That is absolutely wonderful. I admire the organization. And it touches my heart that a certain child thought it would be so wrong to put up all the ornaments just for a photo. I can identify with that child!

  6. Pingback: Jesse Tree: Call for photos « Keep on Spinning

  7. Do you happen to still have this file? I have been looking for something like this for years, and just now found your post! I would love to get in touch with you! Thank you for sharing!

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