Making a Jesse Tree

by Edie Wadsworth on November 17, 2009

Oh, come, strong Branch of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to Thee, O Isreal.
The first Sunday in Advent falls on November 29 but with the all the yummies to be made and tables to be decorated for Thankgiving, we’re getting a head start on our Jesse Tree. A Jesse Tree is an advent tree—decorated with symbols of our spiritual heritage—a way to celebrate the coming {advent means ‘come’} of our Lord Jesus. He comes to us in several ways; first as a baby in a manger, then in Word and Sacrament on every Lord’s day, and finally in His last ‘coming’ in judgement.
How to make a Jesse Tree
  1. Purchase a small Christmas tree to use as your Jesse tree.
2. Order this book from Amazon which has all the symbols and scriptures that you can cut out and personalize/bedazzle/glitter-up.
3. Tear the pages out.
4. Cut out the Jesse Tree decorations which will have the appropriate scripture on the back.
5. Bedazzle the front of the ornament.
6. When the time comes to hang the ornaments on the tree {they are labeled by week and day} read the appropriate scriptures and readings.
7. Hang the ornament on your Jesse tree and await His glorious coming.
8. Have your children sing “O Come O come Emmanuel” and your heart will melt into a puddle.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 allie~millie designs November 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Yes we will! What a wonderful, beautiful idea to remind us all throughout the season, that it's about Him! Thank you for sharing that and I love reading your blog :)



2 Jodi November 17, 2009 at 5:23 pm

thanks for the great reminder…I wanted to try a Jesse tree this year so I definitely should get started now! especially because we're going to try making some of our ornaments…at least I hope so! LOL


3 Hair Bows & Guitar Picks November 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm

What an awesome idea…I love it!

Thanks for sharing.


4 karam210 November 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm

How on EARTH have I never even heard of this!?


5 Kellye@onemomswalk November 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Okay…who has been hiding the Jesse tree from me for all of these years and then all of the sudden everybody knows about it and is doing it but me!!!

Thank you so much for the recommendation of the book. I have been searching for one, but couldnt find one to commit to!!

I cannot wait to get started!!


6 April November 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm

I think we will hold off on the Jesse tree (this is our first year celebrating advent–gotta start small!), but thank you so much for sharing the video! O come, o come, Emmanuel is my absolute favorite Christmas song, because of what it means. And your children sang it so beautifully!


7 Jennifer November 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Great idea!

The video of your children singing… beautiful and priceless!!


8 Mandi Shandi November 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm

They aren't even my kids and my heart melted after listening to that! I have been looking for a way to teach the boys the "real" meaning of Christmas on a day to day basis, and this may be just the thing!


9 angelamills November 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm

I just found your blog through Life with my 3 Boybarians…I am so glad I did!

I've never heard of a Jesse tree until this year, and this looks like a simple way to start. Thanks!


10 Jennifer Rutherford November 17, 2009 at 7:33 pm


I am so thankful you posted this! We are SO PASSIONATE about doing this as a family every year. And it totally does not surprise me that you love to do this too…you are so great like that!

We SO love the Jesse tree! Last year was our first year to do one and it was phenomenal…the best advent season for us ever! It is so great ending the day reading the Scripture that foretells the coming of the King.

My boys are 5 and 4 and we've modified our reading this year to coincide with The Jesus Storybook Bible (we totally LOVE this!) by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

You can check out our plan for advent this year here:

and if anyone wants to read what we did daily last year, you can check out that adventure here:



11 Katie November 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

such pretty pretty music! there is nothing like sibling harmony!


12 Get Your Martha On November 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm



13 Leen November 17, 2009 at 9:34 pm

What a wonderful video!!

We had a Jesse tree last year and it was such a great experience for our family.
Thanks for the reminder!


14 Talysa November 17, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Oh Edie….I LOVE this!!! Last year we made a "Jesus Tree" where we listed the attributes of Jesus and the SCripture we found it in…here's a peek if you'd like…

But I love this idea!!! Just ordered the book!


15 Renee November 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm

We always celebrate advent with the kids, but this is my first year to use a Jesse tree. I ordered Ann Voscamp's from It is an e-book and the pictures can be printed on cardstock and you are ready to go (they are in color). Just a suggestion if someone can't find this book. I love advent…can't wait!!


16 T. J. Knowlton November 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Perfect project. Thanks for sharing. I just ordered it.


17 Kathy November 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm

LOVE that all your children sang together and that you bedazzled the ornaments:) The Holiday planner that I am absoulutely enamored with right now had a section on making a Jesse Tree:


18 patty November 17, 2009 at 11:10 pm

omgosh… those babies can SING!! your home must be so filled with love during the holidays! oh, i know better than that… so full of love all year long!! :)


19 Ruth November 18, 2009 at 1:01 am

I want to try a Jesse Tree this year also. I love that Christmas song. It's one of my favorites. Your children sound beautiful.


20 Donna November 18, 2009 at 2:22 am

Love this…what a great way to remember the true reason for celebrating Christmas!


21 Cubarado November 18, 2009 at 3:09 am

Thank you for sharing this idea! So timely, as I've been searching for a meaningful way to lead my family to Christmas Day! :)


22 The Tomato Vine November 18, 2009 at 3:56 am

Great idea and such a great reminder – thanks!


23 Becca~TimeWellSpent November 18, 2009 at 3:57 am

Thanks for telling about this advent resource! I'm off to check it out!


24 Molly @ A Bit O' Shine November 18, 2009 at 6:42 am

How cool! I've never heard of it so thank you for sharing!


25 Denise November 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Thanks for sharing about this book, I have been looking for something on how to make our first Jesse tree, this looks perfect having the scripture and days on the back. Thanks


26 Micah November 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Just wanted to let you know I referenced you on my blog post today…so check it out if you get a chance. And thanks again for your obedience to Him that has brought healing to so many.


27 Shannon November 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm

We really enjoy our Jesse tree each year. We've been doing it for the past three years. Thanks for reminding me to get everything ready to go :)


28 Kristin...though some still call me Dott... November 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm

last year was our first year to do a jesse tree. my kids are 1, 3, and 4 and i really wanted to start them off young teaching them what christmas is truly about. the other day i asked my 4 yr old what Christmas was about and he said presents. :( ulch. i'm hoping our jesse tree lessons will stick with him better this year. we use the ones these scriptures/devotions/ornaments for now. i need to look through ours and make sure we still have all the ornaments from last year.


29 Sally Pepper November 19, 2009 at 4:47 am

I was just telling my bible study group about the Jesse Tree today. I did it with the kids last year…and will definitely do it again this year!


30 BlueEyesAngl November 19, 2009 at 5:15 am

Just found your Blog.Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas and family. will be back to learn and read more.God Bless you and yours.


31 Valerie November 19, 2009 at 5:15 am

That was wonderful! Thank you so much. This is just what I wanted to read tonight :)


32 BlueEyesAngl November 19, 2009 at 5:15 am

Just found your Blog.Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas and family. will be back to learn and read more.God Bless you and yours.


33 Tracy @Magnolia Cul-de-Sac November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Oh we love the Jesse tree tradition! I have a different book, but it's the same idea. I was part of an ornament swap and ended up with a beautiful set or ornaments.

I love the scriptual reminders that the coming of our Savior has been part of the Plan for a long, long time. The Jesse Tree is a great way to experience the awe and excitement of the Birth of Our Lord as if for the first time again.

I am so glad you highlighted this special tradition.


34 Julie November 20, 2009 at 4:00 am

I tagged you for an award!! Come over to my place and check it out! It's a cute one :) Hope you're having a fabulous week! xoxo


35 Christi November 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Edie, thanks so much for sharing this!! I've always wanted to do a Jesse tree, but never got around to it because I didn't really know where to start.

Just ordered my book from Amazon – can't wait to get started!


36 sportzmom November 21, 2009 at 2:47 am

Amazing singing! You must be so proud!


37 Sunflowermommie November 21, 2009 at 4:12 am

I just found your blog today. I loved your post about the Jesse Tree. I really want to do one this year with my kids. I need to get my act together. Thanks for the inspiration.


38 Sarah December 5, 2009 at 6:03 am


Were the pages in your book in full color?

I just received my copy from Amazon, but the pics are all black-and-white-and-blah-grey … it looks like they've been (poorly) photocopied, so even coloring them in won't be very pretty)! Boooo!


I guess "pretty" isn't the point, though, huh?!


39 Gloria Chiras December 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm

You are such an incredible mother! I am inspired by your creative ideas and the loving environment you offer your family.


40 Homemakerhoney November 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Hello!  If you are looking for Jesse Tree Ornaments to celebrate Advent for this year or next, I invite you to have a look at the my Jesse Tree Ornaments sets:

Many Blessings,


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