I love all of the fun Christmas traditions of trees and lights and yes, even Santa Claus.
I believe those all have their place…
and that place should be squarely second in line to the REAL meaning of it all.
What makes a Jesse Advent different is that rather than a simple piece of candy to eat every day in countdown to Christmas, you open an ornament that symbolizes that day’s devotional…
And by the end of it, you get through the Bible and it culminates with the birth of Jesus.
The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.”
Now, most Jesse Advent doohickys are trees…you hang the ornament on a mini tree…but I didn’t want a tree.
Most Jesse Advent ornaments are either paper cutouts or crafty things you make with your kids (i.e. cotton balls and googly eyes to make a lamb)…
But I wanted the ornaments to last for a long time…so I decided to buy REAL ornaments for each day.
If you want to do it this way, I give you some advice: prepare to spend a lot of money and start EARLY. You’d be surprised at how hard it can be to find the ornaments you need.
And yes, it gets pricey. Pretty ornaments can be fairly expensive…especially when you need 25 of them. But, I adore how lovely it all looks and that it should last a lifetime. For me, (a self proclaimed cheapskate), I don’t mind spending the money knowing that a tradition is made…and when the kids are older with their own families, I will split up the ornaments and get them started on their own Jesse Advent traditions with ornaments from their childhood. Cute, right?
This is how we do it:
Clothespins, glitter and little kraft paper bags strung along a piece of jute twine stapled to the wall.
Not only do I prefer the clothesline look, but I also liked that the ornaments are in full view and in chronological order…telling the story visually too. But you can do the tree if a long blank wall isn’t available.
We are using this book for our devotionals. There are LOTS of versions of Jesse Advent Tree devotionals. Each use different verses and use slightly different ornaments, so make sure you pick a devotional book and stick with it. Especially if you’re buying real ornaments…or they might not match up.
(For example, some devotionals use the story of Jonah…so you would need a fish/whale ornament. Other devotionals do not. So if you change devotionals midway through, you’ll have a mish mash of ornaments. Not that I did that or anything.)
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” - Genesis 1:1
I just hang the ornament on the outside of the bag…and they all line up along the wall in order.
You can click HERE to see all of my ornaments/days.
Would you prefer a free fifty free version? Or maybe you don’t have time to find 25 ornaments before December 1?
Never fear! The fabulous Ann Voskamp has a FREE downloadable e-book you can use…in it, she also includes pages that your kids can color and decorate to use as the ornaments. If you prefer the idea of “real” ornaments, use Ann’s paper cutouts this year and collect ornaments next year!