Bubble and I are both getting a little anxious for Christmas (even though it pains me to see Christmas things already in certain stores) and in spite of (or maybe because of) the 100+ temperatures this week. Bubble keeps asking when it will be Advent and then sighing and saying things like, “Ordinary Time is sooo long.” Even though we have a slightly abbreviated Ordinary Time this year (due to the late Easter) and the school year and spate of Holidays disrupts/enriches/is-is-echoed-by the church even if it outside the “official” church calendar, so things should liven up, in a house wherein the school year is not yet the primary rhythm, summer has been long and real fall is due.
That said, I’ve been thinking about Advent, and about the Jesse Tree tradition we began last year. The Jesse Tree is a “family tree” for Jesus, the “root of Jesse” (King David’s father) (See Isaiah 11:1). It uses symbols to represent some of the noteworthy people in the genealogical line of Christ. And I’m not sure I ever posted pics for my Illinois Roommate who asked about it, so here we go.
Last year, we kept it really simple. Computerguy drew a tree on a piece of butcher paper. I printed out “ornaments” on card stock and cut out the circles. Then we put tape on the back and Bubble would put one on the tree each night as we read the verses that accompanied the symbol and talked about the person/story for the day. It was simple; it went along with the more secular “Advent House” with a chocolate each day, and it was a fun teeny tiny family devotional.
I can’t re-find the symbols I used last year on-line, and I don’t want to attach the pdf’s because I don’t recall from where I procured them, but I’d be happy to email them to individuals. I’m sure it was a “please use this” kind of site. I liked them because they were colorful and in circles. A search for Jesse Tree will bring up various patterns and printable symbols, though, including some that could be colored by the kids, something Bubble would be more interested in this year than she was last.
Because it is just September, I keep wondering if I can be more creative with the Jesse Tree and the ornaments this year. I’d love to at least get little wooden disks and put them on those, attach a hook, and place them on a real branch or tree (or wooden dowel tree). Or find or make little ornaments that represent the symbols and put them on a tabletop tree. That would be cool. But let’s face it. I’m still not craftsy, so we’ll probably pull out the very same outlined tree and cut out circles. Actually, that was pretty highly craftsy for me.
Some Links to Jesse Tree stuff (disclaimer: I don’t know who is behind some of these sites, but they seem okay):
A site with a long explanation and a chart of scriptures and symbols.
The Reformed Church in America site with links to a nice pdf of symbols and patterns.
A site with fun, colorful pictures that could be printed out.
The Beliefnet Jesse Tree page.
A Google Image Search gives some fun ideas if one is more craftsy than I.