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Resources for Christmas: Advent and Jesse Tree Ideas

Photo Credit: suphakit73, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Check out all of our Resources for Christmas/Advent Posts Here.

Advent has been a new experience for us the last few years. We love it and the focus it brings in our home on the true meaning of Christmas. There are so many Advent ideas around and it isn’t too late to start if you haven’t already. I am going to share some of my favorite ways to celebrate Advent and give you some other resources as well. Just don’t get overwhelmed. If you want, pick one or two things that your family might enjoy. Try not to get too caught up in all the “good” things your family can do that you lose the true meaning and the memory making. I have this habit of wanting to incorporate so much good stuff, that I fall short on things. {Sigh} What we do for Advent changes year to year, depending on how busy our lives are and our circumstances. Last year at this time {2011} I was deathly sick with kidney stones and infections and sat in a chair for about 2 months. I had lots of plans last year but was too sick to do any of it.Resources for Christmas: Advent & Jesse Tree Ideas

What is Advent?

Advent means “coming” and is a time of spiritual preparation before Christmas.  It is a celebration of the birth of Christ in the First Advent and  the anticipation of His Second Advent.   Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas
Eve.  Advent challenges us to celebrate God’s gift of love through Jesus in the midst of the commercialism. We celebrate Advent using a wreath, devotional, and story.

The candles are lit on Sundays, after we have a special meal or snack.   We read from the book, A Family Advent: Keeping the Savior in the Season.  It has a short devotional, fun facts, and family activities. Advent Wreath– We enjoy the tradition of the weekly devotional and gathering on Sunday evenings to light the candles. You can make your own or purchase an advent wreath.

We started using the Cradle to the Cross at A Holy Experience last year. This one can be used for Advent, Easter and Ascension.

Advent Stories. We started this series last year and love it!  These three Advent devotionals will take you and your family from Advent to Christmas with day-by-day readings and advice for making Christmas a meaningful season of worship. Read one book each Advent. Includes Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for AdventBartholomew’s Passage: A Family Story for Advent, and Tabitha’s Travels (Recommended for older children).

The ADVENTure of Christmas: Finding Jesus in our Holiday Traditions

The ADVENTure of Christmas is a guide for moms concerned that their children are losing sight of Jesus in the midst of the distractions the holiday season brings. Lisa Whelchel was such a mom, but instead of abandoning the traditions of Christmas she rediscovered their original meanings, which were intended to remind people of God’s unfathomable gift. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree have become opportunities to teach her children about how they relate to Jesus’ birth. With The ADVENTure of Christmas, mothers can redeem what’s been lost from the very symbols that are gentle reminders of the true meaning of Christmas.

The Jesse Tree This is a wonderful approach to get your kids to get involved in Advent.  The Jesse Tree is based on the verse Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  It begins at Creation, goes through the Old Testament stories that point to the birth of Christ and ends with His birth.  Some devotionals begin when Advent starts or on December 1st and ends at Christmas.

Just get a branch, small tree, or draw a tree on some brown paper. Anything will work!

Resources for Christmas: Advent & Jesse Tree Ideas


Choose your devotional and ornaments. Make them, print them…whatever based on the ones you choose. Put them in a basket or special place with your devotional and you are ready to go! Truth in the Tinsel~ a fun, crafty Advent/Jesse Tree experience that will be very meaningful to your children. Make the ornaments yourself together or use the new printable ornaments.  Available in Spanish and as a church curriculum.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas

Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage (in connection with the original book), engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.

This special edition is beautifully illustrated. It can serve as a precious guide to help recapture the sacredness of the Advent season and to help the entire family understand and celebrate the epic pageantry of humankind from Adam to the Messiah.

Jesse Tree Ornaments from Christmas Your Way

Redeemed Christmas – The Heart of Jesus – Advent Tabletop Devotional

Resources for Christmas: Advent & Jesse Tree Ideas

Do you celebrate Advent?

What resources do you use to keep Christ in Christmas?

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Mary Clendenin

About Mary Clendenin

Mary Clendenin lives on the family farm with her husband and 2 sons, whom she home schools. She enjoys farm life with her guys, gardening and making memories with her family. She loves to help others learn how to live a healthier lifestyle, learn about natural remedies and how to do business at home. Mary believes that home and family is your first ministry and a legacy that will live on long after you are gone.


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