We added a new Advent tradition to our Christmas celebration this year. Before we decorated the tree, Bethany wanted us to leave 25 ornaments off and add one each day until Christmas. There should be a star at the top on Christmas, she thought. It reminded me of something a friend had told me about called the Jesse Tree.
The Jesse Tree tells the story of redemption from the creation to the birth of Christ, demonstrating God's covenant relationship with Israel, his faithfulness to the covenant, and Israel's unfaithfulness and need of a Savior.
We found several great resources online, including a daily devotional and ornament patterns. There appeared to be some variations, but we used what worked for us. Our ornaments were very simple color, cut and paste, but there are some beautiful patterns for more elaborate ones. The devotional was fairly brief, and on days when the Bible reading was familiar, we let the kids choose whether to read it or to tell the story themselves. Each day included a discussion question that related the lesson to our own lives. Perfect for our kids' ages. Of course, there were a number of days we had to catch up for a missed day or two. Christmas time is like that. We are flexible!
Just in case you need something to stash away for next year, the links are here. And yes. There is a star at the top.