Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Advent 2010 – Printable Ornaments and Prayers


November is here!  While we are getting ready for Thanksgiving, it’s a great time to remember that Advent is just around the corner!
image_thumb1A photo of our Jesse Tree last year.
Apparently it’s fun to place ornaments in the “sky” too! ;)

Last year I wrote a bit about what a Jesse Tree is and how we use it in our observance of Advent each year.  You can read that post hereI can’t say enough wonderful things about how using a Jesse Tree has added a sense of hope, expectation, focus, and peace to our home during Advent.  It is one of those things that “work” even better than I had first hoped.  I find myself wanting to share this with everyone I know and am always encouraging other families to adopt the Jesse Tree as an annual tradition in their homes.

The Jesse Tree is a way of seeing God’s love for us and His plan for salvation as shown throughout history.  It is basically one Bible story per night, beginning with creation and ending with the birth of Jesus – a way of waiting and hoping for Christmas, and really living Advent by focusing our hearts on what Christmas is truly all about. 

Each Bible story is accompanied by a symbol taken from the story which is made into an ornament for the Jesse Tree.   Each evening the Bible story is read (directly from Scripture, or for younger children you may want to use a Children’s Bible), and the ornament for the day is placed on the tree. 

The name “Jesse Tree” comes from Isaiah, chapter 11, which says:
“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.” – verses 1-8
Many people use a large branch placed in a pot of dirt to hang their ornaments on.  Some use a miniature artificial Christmas tree.  We use a simple felt Christmas tree, tacked onto our flannelboard.  Our ornaments are made from felt also (decorated with markers and glitter glue).

In the attached printable below, I’ve included the ornaments that we use.  If these do not appeal to you there are numerous others you can find by doing a simple Google search.  I chose these for their simplicity – young children can color or paint them, or they can be used as a design for felt ornaments like our family has done.  (Some of these were designed by myself, and as far as I can tell the others are all public domain images.)

I’ve also included the prayer cards that I made for our family, with the Scripture reference for the day printed on it, the ornament of the day, and a short prayer.  There is also a simple word or phrase to meditate on for each day, which oftentimes leads to a nice family discussion about the beauties of our faith.

To simplify things a bit, many families begin their Jesse Tree on Dec. 1st and finish on Dec. 24th, and therefore have the same ornaments and Bible stories on the same days every year.  We do things a bit differently, and try to begin our Jesse Tree on the actual first day of Advent.  Since this date varies from year to year, the number of ornaments and the order of Bible stories changes a bit.   I’ve included a schedule of dates, ornaments, and readings specific to this year’s Advent season.  (If you want to do this, and have any questions, please feel free to email me or leave a comment with your specific question.  I’ll do my best to give you a good answer!)

2010 Jesse Tree Packet:
We also have a little felt Jesus doll and a “manger” (for a tutorial, see here).  M puts a piece of yarn “hay” in the manger each evening as we end our Jesse Tree time, and we say simply, “Come Baby Jesus, be born in our hearts.”  On Christmas Eve he places the felt baby Jesus in the manger on his soft bed of hay.  So sweet.

It’s a beautiful and meaningful tradition, and if you haven’t done a Jesse Tree in the past, I hope you’ll try it this Advent!  If you have had a Jesse Tree in the past, leave a comment and let us know the impact it had on your family’s Advent!

I am linking this post up to Kylie's blog:
Our Worldwide Classroom

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I love this Nicole and it really reflects in your post how much it has done for your family.

    I hope you will include it in our Christmas Fun Link Up, once it gets started - http://ourworldwideclassroom.blogspot.com/2010/11/christmas-fun-2010.html

  2. Thank you Nicole. Bear loved this last year and we are looking forward to doing our Advent "pockets" again.

  3. Thank you for the printables. I have heard about the Jesse tree often but didn't really know how it worked. Do you have a favorite children's bible?

  4. We have two Bibles for children. Here are the links:




    Both have great illustrations, but I prefer to read to M from the first one. It does a good job of kind of "glossing over" parts of stories that would be scary or disturbing to very small children, while still doing a good job of being true to the story. Of course it depends on your child and how sensitive he or she is to that kind of thing. The second Bible is a bit too detailed in parts and since M is very susceptible to being upset by that kind of thing, I prefer to read to him from the first Bible. We let him look at the pictures in the second one during church. :)

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this! I actually have it all printed out and the felt I need to create it! I am crafting with a friend on Wednesday so I hope to knock these out!

  6. Thanks Nicole! I printed out the ornaments last night. I also bought a Jesse Tree book from our local Catholic shop, one of the St. Joseph picture books. (Have you seen them? I bring those and sometimes their coloring books to church). I'm looking forward to this Advent!

  7. Thanks, I am married to a pastor in Africa- french speaking, so I down loaded ur stuff, translated the cards into french. Will have 2 sided cards and baubels of ornaments to hang on tree. A wonderful advent calender showing true meaning of Christmas. God Bless


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