Advent Activity: The Jesse Tree
The Jesse tree’s name is taken from Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot shall come out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Jesse was the father of King David who is an ancestor of Jesus. During each day of Advent, when we are awaiting with hope for the birth of Jesus, we hang a new ornament that represents the people, prophesies, and events leading up to the birth of Jesus. By the end of Advent, we can follow God’s plan to send a Savior through thousands of years of history.
The Advent Season ranges from 22 days to 28 days, depending on the year, not counting Christmas. This document has 28 readings and a final reading for Christmas Day to commemorate the birth of Jesus. In years when there are less than 28 days of Advent, you can either double up on readings (as I have done in the charts) or just eliminate some. I have made charts for 22 days of Advent to 28 days of Advent with the recommended reading(s). The reading of the Jesse Tree and the first ornament for ‘Creation’ are combined to do on the first day of Advent as opposed to some schedules which have these on separate days. I have found that children are not satisfied with just having a tree or stump, (or whatever you use), but also like to hang an ornament, even on that first day! There are many websites for making ornaments for the Jesse tree. I have used some of these as a symbol for that day until I replaced it with an actual item, like a real piece of coal for Isaiah. Over the years, I have found something to represent almost all the readings, which is why I do two or three readings on one day when Advent is shorter than other years. I like my ornaments and think all of the readings I have collected are important to the coming of the Savior.
Hangers can be purchased in a craft store to glue to an item to make it into an ornament. Some ornaments, like Jacob’s ladder can be made with simple craft items like toothpicks or popsicle sticks. If you don’t like a certain ornament, replace it with something else that fits with the reading or with the person. The readings can be printed and cut apart, or don’t cut them and put them in a binder.
My goal for this collection was to always be ready for the Jesse tree no matter how many days are in Advent that year. I hope you find this collection useful for many years!
Days in Advent by year: (not counting Christmas!)
2019 – 24 days
2020 – 26 days (leap year adds a day from the previous year)
2021 – 27 days
2022 – 28 days
2023 – 22 days
2024 – 24 days (leap year adds a day from the previous year)
2025 – 25 days
2026 - 26 days
2027 – 27 days