As the kids start thinking about what they want for Christmas, making lists and having relatives ask them for gift ideas, it’s easy to lose focus on the real reason behind celebrating.
Last year we discovered the Jesse tree tradition and a set of free printable ornaments your kids can color as you do each daily Bible reading. While we enjoyed the Christmas activity, some of the readings were hard for my kids to understand.
This year I came across readings that were more kid-friendly. To go with them we decided to make our own homemade Jesse tree ornaments. After all, everyone loves homemade ornaments.
Even though the readings are supposed to begin on December 1, there is still time to make these ornaments with your own kids and start doing the readings! You can make the ornament each day after your reading. We will be sharing them in batches as we get ours made.
When I looked for a new set of daily readings, I discovered there are lots of different versions of the Jesse tree passages.
We decided to use this set of readings, which you can view online or get in book format. We love that they are geared towards children and are short and easy to understand. We were inspired by some of their homemade ornaments, and couldn’t wait to put our own twists on them.
Want to use a different set of Jesse tree readings? Most of these ornaments should fit into the schedule.
Homemade Jesse Tree Ornaments
Day 1: The first day is the Creation reading (Genesis 1:1-2:4). We created a small earth, using a blue ping-pong ball. We painted land on it with green acrylic paint, and hot glued a loop of yarn on it for a hanger.
Day 2: This day focuses on Adam & Eve and their fall (Genesis 3:1-24). For this we used a small apple ornament I had from my classroom teaching days. My son twisted a couple green pipe cleaners together and hot glued googly eyes on it and a forked tongue. Then we wrapped it around the apple.
You could also use an apple from an old play food set or a small red ball.
Day 3: Instead of discussing Cain and Able like many Jesse tree activities do, the third day in this series of readings introduced a new character to us: Seth (Genesis 4:25). Seth was made in Adam’s image, just as Adam was made in God’s image. To show this we made a tiny mirror of aluminum foil with a pipe cleaner border.
Day 4: Who doesn’t love a rainbow? This reading has to do with Noah. (Genesis 6:9-9:17) To remind us of God’s promise, my daughter created a colorful rainbow of pipe cleaners with puffy cotton ball clouds.
To make it sturdier, and easier to form, she hot glued it to a piece of cardboard, and then cut the extra cardboard off once it was dry.
Day 5: On this day we were introduced to another new person, Shem, one of Noah’s sons. (Genesis 14:18)
Shem was known for offering bread and wine as a sacrifice. My daughter used a green pipe cleaner and purple pony beads to create a small bunch of grapes to help us remember him. (See picture above.)
Day 6: The 6th day’s reading focuses on Abraham (Genesis 17) and God’s promise that he would be a father to many nations, like the stars in the sky.
We used star beads, hanging one above a collection of other stars, similar to a family tree to show this.
Day 7: This reading is about Jacob.
Although the reading doesn’t mention it, Jacob had a dream about a ladder leading to Heaven (Genesis 28:12) . We created our own ladder ornament using broken craft sticks to remind us of Jacob.
The Jesse tree is one of our favorite new Christmas traditions. Getting to create each ornament this year has helped bring a deeper connection for the kids to the daily readings.
I know these homemade Jesse tree ornaments will be treasured for a long time.
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