What is a Jesse Tree?
A Jesse Tree represents the family tree of Jesus Christ. Each ornament represents a story from the Bible that tells about God’s people before Jesus was born. Each Story shows God’s salvation plan and tells how He guided humanity to prepare for the coming of the Messiah.
The tradition of the Jesse Tree dates back to the middle ages. The name “Jesse Tree” comes from Isaiah 11:1, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” Jesse is the father of King David. The savior was to come from David’s family line.
What is the tradition?
During the Advent season, a Bible Story is read which relates to Jesus’ family or God’s people. After the Bible story is read and discussed, an ornament is placed on a tree – the Jesse Tree. This was often done from the beginning of Advent to Christmas Day.
Traditionally the Bible stories corresponded with the readings from Daily Mass so the number of ornaments and the stories that were read changed from one year to the next. This meant that new Jesse Tree ornaments needed to be created each Advent. Because of this, there are many versions of the Jesse Tree.
Sadly our version does not follow along with the daily Mass readings, but our version was created to be simple and easy to use at home and in the classroom. Ours begins on Dec. 1, continues till Dec. 25, and it can be used the same way every year.You will need:
What tree should I use?
How do I create the ornaments?
With these printable ornaments, the Jesse Tree can be a fun, easy craft! A group of children can divvy up the ornaments and they can all color some!
After the ornaments are colored, cut them out. A 2 ½ inch hole punch is the perfect size to use on these circles! That would make this cutting job very quick and easy!
How do I hang them?
If your tree is flat (on a wall or bulletin board) you can tape, tack-putty, or staple the ornaments to the tree.
Each day from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25 read the Bible story and discuss it. Then add the corresponding ornament to the tree. Twenty-Five scripture readings are listed on the printable! Just grab your Bible or find a website with a Catholic Bible!
I saw different versions on other sites. Why so many versions?
Historically, there are several different versions of the Jesse tree based on the Bible readings for the year. The version which we have here is just a simple home/school version that is meant to be used year after year during the month of December. The readings do not coincide with the Mass readings for the day. If you want a version that works with the daily reading this is not it. I’m sorry we can’t help you at this time.