Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent #3

Salvation history is at the forefront for
understanding the true meaning of what
Advent is really all about.

Salvation history begins all the way back to the root of Jesse....moving forward to the birth of Christ. Jesse was the father of the great King David of the Old Testament. He is often thought of as the first person in the genealogy of Jesus.

The Messianic history is key to understanding the timeline of events leading up to the birth of Christ.

If making, owning or displaying a Jesse tree is a foreign or not yet discovered idea for you and your family, I would implore you to check it all out. At the bottom of this blog post I have a few links for free downloads, ideas and tree examples. It's never to late to begin.

Time and time again we are thankful for all the work our very first Jesse Tree felt project entailed oh so many years ago now. Once the babies were bedded for their afternoon naps, the older children (who resided at home during those days) sat around the kitchen table with me after lunch, cutting, embroidering, stitching, and creating our tree using THIS BOOK HERE. We usually rotate some of our Advent calendar/Jesse Tree collections.

This year our twelve year old son decided we needed to use our felt Jesse tree above ....again. The only slight problem for our younger children is that the symbols aren't exactly like the ones shown on the Holy Heroe's videos, (grin), so we improvise with our own (someday heirloom) set, expecting symbolic variations ahead. For instance, we had no tent, only a blue piece of sky with stars to represent Abraham.

In the photo above, you can see yet another example of a Jesse tree, using brass symbols instead which were purchased from "Our Father's House"(see here).

I threaded red ribbons into each to allow for hanging. I was able to find a really neat tree idea at Ikea last year (see photo below).

I was actually able to re-use the tree year round during other feast or holidays, hanging various symbols on it or over it to create a festive look in the dining room.

Even a mid-December move somehow allowed for some success for purposely keeping our Advent traditions flowing last year. Below is an archival photo showing our symbols hanging from our plain white tree. (I know, maybe jazz it up a bit next time, huh? Ideas???)

If your family would like to begin the tradition of using a Jesse tree for tracking the genealogy of Jesus each advent, even at this later date (it's never too late to begin), then I've linked up a few resources for simple downloads. Instead of using paper in your printer, how about cardstock to for a sturdier symbol.

  • Domestic Church - Excellent article with display ideas for creating your own family Jesse Tree. Download symbols at this site located HERE, and enjoy an instant start.
  • Catholic Culture - More ideas for displaying the ornaments plus 24 Scripture readings with ideas (found here) for making or gathering assorted symbols to represent each item.
  • - Jesse Tree pdf files in small or large sized symbols, plus corresponding readings.
  • Jesus Tree Ornaments - A variation called the "Jesus Tree"(here), same meanings but this one begins with Original sin of Adam/Eve instead of the root of Jesse and can be used all year long for more visual catechizing. Consider using tree branches in plaster of paris for hanging them up. Enjoy a free download with 14 ornaments in black/white, colored or a coloring page to match with all the historical Bible readings alongside of each ornament.
  • Fisheaters - Baker's Clay recipe for making Jesse Tree Ornaments, click HERE. Decoupage your colored ornaments onto baker's clay shapes, make a hole and use a ribbon to hang. Simple, easy and fun for crafty families.
  • Jesse Tree handmade ornaments by a homeschooling family - If you're looking to own Jesse tree ornaments that will become your own family's heirloom items someday, or if you prefer to have 3D items over paper ones, CLICK HERE to visit one family's offerings. They aren't taking any more orders for this year but if you feel inclined, get your name on the list for next year now.
  • Google Images (click here) - Photos for more Jesse Tree ornaments and ideas. Wow, so many out there! Try Ebay, Etsy shops for kits or ready made items. The possibilities are endless!

BEST OF ALL - If you are assisting or preparing a hope chest for a daughter, regardless of vocation in the future, a Jesse tree is the perfect inclusion for a future family, or a life of a religious. No matter what one's vocation will be in the future, why not begin to prepare liturgically for them with items such as this one awaiting in a hope chest.

I had the honor, as did my own mother, of contributing to a book detailing the history and purpose of a hope chest (my mother was gifted by her parents at age sixteen, something usually traditional during her youth), and also about creating a hope chest for our daughters with Rebekah Wilson;

The book is entitled; "The Hopechest; A Legacy Of Love" and found listed at Amazon books. Sadly it's now out of print but still available at a few select sites other than Amazon.

I own one copy myself and eight others to gift all of our children for their future considerations with their own families. I love it!

I would encourage all mothers to read the book. I have no doubt at all about the inevitable stirring of excitement it will create. A flurry of thoughtful crafts, gifts and activities will surely result.

Also, think about all those on your gift lists, perhaps a newly married couple would surely appreciate receiving a gift such as this for liturgical celebrations with their new beginnings. Maybe next year folks, so why not prepare now with purchases or gathering ideas for creating one throughout the year ahead. :)

(Apologies for all those blue links above. I have no idea why my links aren't underlined and easier to read and click onto, a project for the new year I suppose. Until then, I hope all makes sense)