Tuesday, December 04, 2012

A Procrastinator and her Jesse Tree

Confession time.

Until this year, I had no idea what a Jesse Tree was.  Oh yes, vague notion of it having something to do with Jesus and Advent, but that's about it.  Are you sobbing for my children and their thus-far deprived childhoods?  Me too.

But then Jessica at Housewifespice decided to host a Jesse Tree ornament exchange and I signed up.  Hey, everyone else seemed REALLY excited, okay?  And I'm nothing if not a follow-the-cool-crowd-er.  So I signed up and we made our ornaments and sent them and I was feeling all proud of us and stuff and then...well, then I realized that we do not have a Jesse Tree.  Because, of course, I didn't even know what a Jesse tree was.

Are you following me here?  You pickin' up what I'm throwin' down?  Man, I really do love the last minute.  Because our ornaments arrived yesterday and then yesterday, after the ornaments arrived, after we had eaten dinner, after it was past the 2 year old's bedtime, but oh yes, she was still awake, I decided to fashion us a snazzy structure on which to hang our newly arrived, already greatly beloved Jesse Tree ornaments.

I don't blame you if you're impressed with my craftiness.  I mean, a pile of gravel from our driveway?  A chip bowl?  Some branches snagged from the Christmas tree?  Walls that make it appear we are out in the wilderness?  This is some Grade A Martha Stewart action up in here.

Wanna see what we've hung so far?
This is "a shoot from the stump of Jesse", courtesy of my friend, neighbor and co-parishioner Amanda .  She hand-wrapped 32 of these buggers.  Can you believe that? 

And here's Adam (creation) made by someone with a LOT of patience and whoever that person is should leave a comment here so I can say "Hey! ____________ made this one!"

Oh, and because there are no coincidences only God-incidences, in the mail on Saturday I received this lovely book:
This is A Shoot from the Stump of Jesse by the lovely Sarah V. Park.  Remember the 26 Letters to Heaven preschool curriculum?  Well, somehow she's done it again.

Inside you'll find a story for each day accompanied by discussion questions (optional when reading with toddlers.  I mean, right?  Right???), a scripture reference AND ornament suggestions.

Whether you're brand new to Jesse Tree-ing (like yours truly) or you want to expand your Advent library, grab this book.  Even if just for the cover art, am I right?  Gorgeous.

Happy Advent, friends!

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  1. That book looks awesome! I've never seen it before! I think it'll have to be put on the list for next year. And those ornaments are just so fantastic, aren't they?? I'd love to see who made which ones. I'm sort of embarrassed of my bundle o sticks, though. Maybe I should take credit for the Adam one :)

    1. She JUST wrote it. The girl is prolific! We are loving it. The big girls take turns reading the stories out loud around the advent wreath before bed :)

    2. p.s. The bundle of sticks is awesome! You and I BOTH know that the lamest ornament was ours. I mean, a flat piece of felt? Seriously?

  2. I still don't know what a Jesse Tree is. I blame Satan.

  3. Maggie, I love that. I don't really know either. It is something about the "O Antiphons?" I don't really know about those either because I am a cradle Catholic, brought up in the seventies. But I'm already feeling all bad about myself in my boot-cut jeans (I think...no skinny here...not yet anyhow. I hope to sew them.) I even had to go and peek at my shoes and I found out that they were Skechers. Ignorance was a bit of bliss but oh well...:) Liz

  4. I made a Jesse Tree for the first time this year, too! And my actual tree is an actual bundle of straight sticks in a vase. I tied some purple and pink fabric scraps around the vase to make it a bit more festive. Anyway, love the ornaments and the tree, Dwija.

    And Maggie, you can blame most thinks on the enemy. Convenient, right? :)

  5. I have no idea what a Jesse Tree is either. Zip-0! Public school cradle Catholic but I can prob recite my prayers while I'm sleeping. But maybe that doesn't mean anything since I STILL don't know what a Jesse Tree is. My siblings (younger, of course) can tell you though, as the parentals had more moo-lah after ye old firstborn and packed them up to Catholic school every morning. :sigh: Going google Jesse Tree...

  6. I'm back!!!!!! With new knowledge in my sleep-deprieved (I know, quit whining.) brain! Hooray! A Jesse tree is representative of the lineage of Jesus and the symbols represent pieces if scripture leading up to.....you guessed it! The birth of our Lord on Christmas morning! Love this idea!!! Will implement NEXT advent when my children are more cognitively ept and I am not nursing a baby around the clock! Thanks Dweej! Learnin something new every day will keep insanity at bay! (Totally creative huh?!)

  7. Charles made the most wonderful wood cut Jesse Tree ornaments one year. We have the prints and use them at our annual ADVENTures craft day the week before Advent starts. A former parishioner made an awesome metal tree to hang the ornaments on.

  8. Just so nobody has to worry about "doing it right", I got a story.

    A couple of years ago, in a panic, I decided we were Going To Do This Jesse Tree Thing. Armed with Shrinky Dinks, I corralled my artistic daughter into drawing some representative pictures on said dinks. Color with colored pencils, bake in the toaster oven and VOILA, ornaments.

    Then I realized I had nowhere to put them.

    Sitting at my table, thinking about this problem, I realized I was staring at the Advent wreath, fake green wreath from Michael's that it is, and I said...hey, it's green.....like a tree....and a new tradition was born. That's right. In my house we have the Advent wreath, candles in the middle, and Jesse Tree ornaments hung on it all around.



  9. I loved reading this and all the comments! I, too, am in the dark about the Jesse Tree. Sure, I've heard of it. I'm a cradle Catholic who went to CATHOLIC SCHOOL... through high school... and we decorated it every year in grade school, but somehow the meaning/purpose of it wasn't retained. So, here I am, at 37, embarrassingly unable to say what it is... Thanks Suzette for educating us on it. I, too, love the idea, though, Paula, I proooooobably won't be having an ADVENTures craft day anytime in the next 57 years. Methinks I'll just look to ebay to save me from crafting.


  10. This is my first year doing the Jesse tree, too, and girl, you are doing waaaaay better than me because I don't even have the ornaments made yet. We are just going through the book. BUT, I did buy the materials for MAKING the ornaments, so that is a step in the right direction... Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. :-)

  11. Love it. We still haven't got everything together for our Jesse Tree. Oops! And I want that book! We have 26 Letters to Heaven and love it. I think Sarah Park is a genius. Thanks for linking up with us!

    1. She really is such a lovely person, isn't she? I'm astounded at what she's able to accomplish.

  12. thanks for the link up Dwija - I want to, but didn't attempt the Jesse tree this year. We're so new to Advent anyways it just seemed too much for one little not quite two-year old. I'm going to have bookmark that Sarah Park book for next year though.

  13. I'm bummed I didn't hear about the ornament exchange until it was too late -- someone tell me about it next year, okay?

    We have a Lent version in felt that I got as a kit when I had a single toddler. It took a couple years to cut everything out -- I think that child was old enough to help by the time I was done. But the felt pieces don't stay very well on the felt background so after a week or two it gets annoying.

    Anyway, this year, I looked up the verses and found paper color-in versions for the Jesse tree and have been doing them with my 8 and 6 year olds. I read the Bible verses while they color and cut (and they are not coloring kids -- these little circles are about as much patience as I can wring out of them, coloring-wise). Then I attach them to circles of red construction paper, punch a hole through it, and hang it on our real Christmas tree with yarn. We used to wait until Christmas Eve to get a tree, but our parish Men's Club started selling them and we had to pick it up right after Thanksgiving. So I got a string of purple lights and we're only putting the Jesse tree ornaments on it. We'll add our white lights and real ornaments on Christmas Eve. I think I'll buy that book, though -- it would be great to have that instead of hunting them down every year.


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