Thursday, November 26, 2015

Jesse Tree

We love having our Jesse Tree each year.  There are lots of people who have posted in blogs how they have done their Jesse Trees, including many who have pictures that you can download and colour to use for the decorations, so don't think you're too late to do one.  You can also make the decorations as you go if you want to make your own.

I started writing about our Jesse Tree last year, and its almost Christmas again, so I'm going to try again to get it posted.  I'll start from the beginning so you don't have to click to the previous post to get to the start.

If you want to see my tiny intro blurb explaining what a Jesse Tree is, you can see the earlier Post:   Earlier Jesse Tree post

We made a wooden "tree" with dowelling - drilled holes and just pushed thinner dowelling rods through.  A branch, a bought Christmas tree, or some other type of tree would work well too.  Last year my eldest daughter made a tree from a kit - less than a metre high out of wire that was wrapped in coloured cloth/ribbon - it is beautiful.  Something like that would work well too.

This picture is our half filled Jesse Tree.  The orange and yellow thing near the top is not part of the tree - it is hanging on the wall.  It is a fairy that I made years ago (felting wool roving) that I've left on the wall to now play the part of an angel.  Some day I'll make something more angel-like.

These are the leaves all made and ready for decorating.  I cut out a big pile of leaves from green felt, and strips of brown felt for the stalks.  Then I layered two pieces of felt with the stalk in the top as a loop, and machine sewed around the outside.  The veins were added my machine too.  The leaves were all sewn quickly and "freehand" - that is, I didn't draw the veins or anything, so they aren't all identical, and I just did each leaf without stopping and cutting the thread anywhere apart from right at the end.  It was quick and easy.

The first year we did Jesse Tree, I was not prepared before December.  I did most of these at the start of December, and then added decorations a day or two at a time, as we went.  We didn't end up with one for every day - every year we miss a few days.  It works fine for us.  I still have a few blank leaves left (five years later) and might some day put something on them.

The pictures to represent each Bible reading were cut from felt and from iron on applique backing - I just ironed them on and didn't sew them at all.  We've used them for quite a few years now and they are still holding strongly.

So, here are the pictures of the leaves, along with the Bible passages.  We read one a day.  If we miss a day we sometimes do a couple on the weekend.

DAY 1:  Put up the empty tree.  Read Isaiah 11:1-10.  Talk about how the readings start at the beginning of the Bible (creation) and show us the pathway to the birth of Jesus, and how God kept bringing His people back to him.

DAY 2:  Genesis 1:1-2:3  Creation of the World

DAY 3:  Genesis 2:4-24 Creation of People

DAY 4:  Genesis 3:1-24

DAY 5:  Genesis 6:5 - 9:17 Noah and the Flood - This is a big passage, and you could break it into a couple of parts of leave bits out.  We do usually read the whole lot and then leave out other bedtime reading that day.  It would be easy to just read parts though.

DAY 6:  Genesis 12:1-9, 15:1-6  Abraham - You could just read the chapter 12 section.

DAY 7:  Genesis 28:10-22  Jacob's dream - the ladder

DAY 8:  Genesis 37 Jacob's sons; Joseph's coat

DAY 9:  Genesis 41-42 Wheat

DAY 10:  Exodus 1-2 Baby Moses

DAY 11:  Exodus 2:23-25, 3 The Burning bush

Extra passages that would be good to include in here are the Plagues in Egypt (Exodus 5 and onwards) and the Exodus from Egypt including the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 13 and onwards)

DAY 12:  Exodus 19-20 (or you could use Deuteronomy 5:1-22  Giving of the Ten Commandments

DAY 13:  1 Samuel 3 The story of Samuel

DAY 14:  1 Samuel 16:1-13  God chooses David

DAY 15:  1 Samuel 17  David and Goliath

DAY 16:  1 Kings 3:4-28  Solomon

DAY 17:  1 Kings 18:17-39 Elias

DAY 18:  Jonah (Yes, we have generally read the whole book of Jonah.  I can clearly remember this reading from the first time we did the Jesse Tree.  Perhaps the kids had never heard the whole story read.  We were sitting outside after dinner reading it, and I only planned on reading a little, but they were all engrossed in the story and kept saying "Read more, read more", so we just read the whole thing.  You can certainly just pick out parts of the story though.)

DAY 19:  Luke 1:5-25  Zacharias and Elizabeth - This is a picture of the censer - the thing that Zacharias took into the temple - if I remember correctly!

It would be good to have a reading about John the Baptist here.  We've always been too close to Christmas day when we get this far though!

DAY 20:  Luke 1:26-56  The Angel comes to Mary

DAY 21:  Luke 2:1-6  Travelling to Bethlehem - or you can chose whatever part of the story of Jesus' birth that you like

DAY 22:  Luke 2:2-20  The birth of Jesus

There are so many other parts of the story of birth of Jesus that could be included.  We read other parts of the story when we light candles - that is in another post!

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