Do you have holiday traditions that have been passed down from your grandparents, parents or other family members? Have you created new traditions with your family? A Jesse Tree advent calendar is a new idea to me that I began to research in this post. After reading and reading and reading and talking, we’ve decided to try this out during our holiday season. Last week I went to GR to find materials for our advent calendar. I happily discovered that Hobby Lobby had felt choices galore and on sale. I stacked and stacked and stacked until the pile was so large that Boo couldn’t resist touching and trying to peel stickers off of them. I was so excited to find as many colors in stock as I did. Boo and I are working on ornaments for our tree.
Here’s our plan so far:
- For creation, I’m making a globe. I didn’t like the idea of focusing on just one aspect of creation from Genesis 1.1-2.4.
- For Adam and Eve from Genesis 2.7-9 & 18-24, I’m making stick modernish people, so the woman looks like she’s wearing a dress. Not historically accurate, but clearly a man and woman.
- For the fall of man, I’m making a generic red fruit as depicted in Genesis 3.1-7 & 23-24
- For Noah and the flood, I making a rainbow, see Genesis 6-8.
- For the tower of Babel, I’m making a ziggurat/tower. Although the tower represents disobedience, without it we wouldn’t have scattered and developed all the cultures. This story is told in Genesis 11.
- For Abraham, I’ve chosen the Star of David because he became the father of many nations, more numerous than the stars., Genesis 12-15.
- For Isaac, I’m making a stone altar because he trusted his father and God, Genesis 22.
- For Jacob, I love the image of the ladder to represent Jacob’s dreams at Bethel of the stairway to heaven to remind Jacob that in time God would allow him to return home.
- For Joseph, I couldn’t use anything but his coat of many colors that became the physical manifestation of his brothers’ jealousy. Joseph’s story is in Genesis 37-45.
- I have a cute lion which will either represent the prophesy that a lion from the tribe Judah will rule or Daniel’s obedience and punishment of the lion’s den.
- For Moses, I am making two. A basket will represent his mother’s (dis)obedience by hiding him in the river and stone tablets to represent his obedience to God by talking to him on behalf of the people. See Exodus 1, 3, 19 & 20.
- For Samuel, I am making a candle to represent the lamp of God that was burning in 1 Samuel 3 when God first spoke to Samuel.
- For Ruth and Obed, I’m making a stack of wheat because she obeyed God and stayed with Naomi and allowed themselves to be redeemed by Obed after working his fields. See the book of Ruth for this story.
- For Jesse, I am making a sheep as he had many flocks his sons had to care for. In 1 Samuel 16, Jesse says he has one more son in the fields with the sheep.
- For David, I am making a slingshot to represent his obedience in the face of certain defeat when he went up against Goliath told in 1 Samuel 17.
- For Solomon, I am making a crown because he was a wise king, see 1 Kings 3.
- For Isaiah, who foretold the Messiah in Isaiah 9, I’m making a scroll with Emmanuel, God with us embroidered on it.
- For Jonah, I’m making a whale to remind us of the cost of disobedience with the possibility of redemption when we seek forgiveness. See the book of Jonah.
- Pictures of finished ornaments and at least 6-8 more symbols to come . . .
I originally thought to glue them down because I didn’t want to invest too much time in something that may not stick as a tradition, but after seeing the sites I’ve linked below, I’ve decided to sew them by hand or machine depending on the size of the pieces. Serendipity has lovely ornaments that I looked at when deciding that my shapes would look like. I linked to the general topic rather than one post because the ornaments span five posts. From this gallery of ornaments, I found a slide show of ornaments (52 images). I’m considering sewing my ornaments down to leaves as well, but I’m not sold on the holly tree look. I love the stitching detail and the idea of the same base on each ornament to bring a unified look to my tree. I love the 3D and texture variety in materials of the ornaments I’ve seen, but for ours I like the simplicity of felt ornaments that will pack flat at the end of the year. I like continuity of materials from one ornament to the next. If I made one from modeling clay, my brain would want them all to be like that. I don’t have enough clay in my stash for that kind of project, nor do I have the time to make a 3D tree and hangers. I can almost guarantee that my ornaments won’t be sewn to leaves this year, but I’m making them to a similar size, around three inches high, so that in the future if I decide to create a base it will be easier.