With a toddler on the loose at our house this year, we have decided it would be best if we leave our regular Christmas tree in the box. We have no place to put it this year where it would be safe from his curiosity.
So in place of our traditional Christmas tree, we made a simple tree out of construction paper for our living room wall. (I made sure to place it high enough to be out of Little Brother's reach!)
This year our tree is a Jesse Tree. It is fun way to count down the days til Christmas while completing daily Scripture readings that point us to the birth of Jesus! The basis for the Jesse Tree idea is found in the book of Isaiah chapter 11. This is where Isaiah prophesies of the coming of the Savior saying, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."
The Scripture readings begin in Genesis and from December 1-25 we will see how all of the Old Testament points to Christ. For each day's Scripture, there is a picture or symbol to place on the tree.
This year, we are using free materials I printed from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has the daily pictures in both black & white and in color. I glued the black & white pictures on our Jesse Tree this morning. Beginning tomorrow as we read each Scripture, we will place the color version of each picture on top of the black & white version. This way we will have a fun way to see how many days are left until Christmas as our tree becomes more colorful each day until we finally reach the star at the top.
I first heard of the concept of a Jesse Tree last year when Big Brother and I went through the Jesse Tree LEGO Challenge at Proverbial Homemaker We really enjoyed that challenge! Big Brother did the LEGO builds each day, and we pasted each picture in his Bible notebook.
Some people use a regular Christmas tree for their Jesse Tree. We may do that another year! For now, our wall tree is much safer! ;-)
Tomorrow I plan to decorate the top of our big upright piano with lights, garland, and a couple nativity scenes. After all, JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!!
How do you keep your Christmas season focussed on Christ? Have you ever done a Jesse Tree? How do you decorate with toddlers in mind? I would love to hear your suggestions and experiences! Feel free to leave a comment!