An Advent Jesse Tree for at Home, 2011

We do not have a Christmas tree as part of our Advent or Christmas celebrations.  This was a conscious choice when we were blessed to be able to adopt our son.  We decided instead to have an Advent Jesse Tree.

We use a small, artificial tree for our Advent Jesse Tree (a real, potted tree is not recommended since by the end of Advent the tree believes it is spring; you may be able to use a more tropical variety of tree or just plan to plant the tree outdoors closer to summer if you wish to use a real one).  Our Advent Jesse Tree is set up on the evening before the first Sunday in Advent, bare except for a single string of lights.  We begin the stories and hanging of symbols on the first Sunday in Advent.  This is a daily activity through Advent, often done after supper and accompanied by a small treat.  Yes, there are times we miss and so we end up doing two stories at once over the course of a couple of evenings in order to catch up.  It is usually the role of our son to hang the symbol on the tree, though older children can certainly help in the reading or telling of the stories too. For longer stories it can be helpful to read from a good Children’s Bible or Bible story book.  Symbols can be made or you might like to hunt for appropriate ornaments.

Following is a suggested guide for this year to the stories and symbols you can use for your own Advent Jesse tree at home. 



Christian New Year’s Eve

Messianic Prediction

Isaiah 11: 1-3

Jesse Tree

Sunday, Advent 1

Creation

Genesis 1: – 2:3

Earth

Monday

Adam and Eve

Genesis 3

Apple

Tuesday

Noah & The Flood

Gen. 6: 11-22

Ark

Wednesday

Abraham & Sarah

Genesis 12: 1-4a

Tent

Thursday

Isaac

Genesis 21: 1-7

Laughing Face

Friday

Jacob

Genesis 28: 10-17

Ladder

Saturday

Joseph

Genesis 37, [39-44],45:1–46:4

Colourful Coat

Sunday, Advent 2

Moses

Exodus 1: 6-14,  3: 1-12

Burning Bush

Monday

The Exodus

Exodus 14: 5-29, 15: 20-21

Tambourine

Tuesday

Ten Commandments

Exodus 19: 1-6a, 20: 1-17

Stone Tablets

Wednesday

Rahab*

Joshua 2: 1-21

Crimson Red Chord

Thursday

Ruth

Ruth 1 – 2:13

Barley Stalks

Friday

Hannah

1 Samuel 1: 1-20

Woman Praying

Saturday

Samuel

1 Samuel 3

Lite Lamp

Sunday, Advent 3

David

[& Bathsheba]

1 Samuel 16:1-13b,[2 Samuel 11–12:13a]

Olive Oil

Monday

Solomon

1 Kings 3:5-14, 10:23-25, 11:1-13

Crown

Tuesday

Jeremiah

Jeremiah 1:1-10, 5:1-3, 9-19, 9:23-24

Scroll

Wednesday

Lamentations

Lamentations 1: 1-4, 16-17

Tears/Crying Face

Thursday

Isaiah Isaiah 40: 1-11

Shepherd

Friday

Nehemiah

Nehemiah 7: 73b – 8: 12 

Book (of the Law)

Saturday

Jonah

Jonah

Big Fish

Sunday, Advent 4

The Angel Gabriel

Luke 1: 26-38

Message

Monday

Zechariah

Luke 1: 5-20

Angel

Tuesday

Elizabeth

Luke 1: 21-25

Joyful Older Pregnant Woman

Wednesday

Mary

Luke 1: 26-38

White Lily

Thursday

Magnificat

Luke 1: 39-56

Pregnant Woman, arms up

Friday

John

Luke 1: 57-80

Holy Spirit Dove

Saturday

Joseph

Matthew 1: 18-25

Carpenter’s Tools

Sunday – Christmas Day

Baby Jesus

Luke 1: 1-7 [8-20]

Baby Jesus


* Another possibility here is Joshua with the reading as Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25 and the symbol as a servant figure.  I have chosen Rahab as she is mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy (Matthew 1: 5).
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