The Jesse Tree is our favorite advent activity every Christmas season. It is a sweet and meaningful way to walk through the story of Jesus from creation to the incarnation.
It’s a simple idea: each day you read an account from the Bible and then hang an ornament up that relates to that story. All the stories point to Christ and His first coming, when God Himself came to us as a baby in a manger.
The Jesse Tree Christmas tradition is based on this passage in Isaiah:
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. – Isaiah 11:1-2
This Jesse Tree Scripture passage is one that our family is very familiar with after years of doing a Jesse Tree. It’s still one of my favorite passages. 🙂 You can find out more about the Jesse Tree here, as well as several ideas on how to use the Jesse Tree in your Advent celebrations.
This year, I also invite you to print off the beautiful custom-illustrated Jesse Tree Scripture art print and coloring page below for a fun way to help your family memorize the verses together and kick off your Jesse Tree activities. They are available in ESV and KJV.
Every day, have your children repeat each phrase after you. When you think they’re beginning to remember it, start having them repeat larger chunks. Eventually, switch to reciting it together each day instead of repeating after you. Coming up with hand motions for each phrase or idea helps the little ones, too!
FREE Jesse Tree Scripture Art Print & Coloring Page (ESV & KJV)
Download the Jesse Tree Scripture Print
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What is the Jesse Tree? – Read a little bit more about what the Jesse Tree is all about and why I love it as a teaching tool in our home!
Jesse Tree Brick Challenge – Use these printable ornaments, Bible reading plan, and Lego build prompts to have a simple and memorable Jesse Tree activity this year!
Jesse Tree Action Bible Reading Plan – The Action Bible is a fun comic book style Bible that my boys in particular have really enjoyed for extra reading. We created this reading plan to go along with it, including printable ornaments!
25+ Jesse Tree Ornament Ideas – Check out this roundup that includes even more ideas for ornaments and activities for a Jesse Tree this Christmas!
More Advent Ideas
There are several ways to count down to Christmas and focus on Jesus and the Word of God. The Jesse Tree is a fun way to do that, but here a more ideas to try!
- Names of Jesus: Advent Family Bible Study and Activities – This is a fun way to go through 25 names of Jesus during Advent. It includes four weekly devotions, Scripture art prints and coloring pages, memory verse cards, printable ornaments to color use as decorations or gift tags, Scripture writing journals, and more!
- Every Good and Perfect Gift: Family Christmas Bible Study & Activities – Spend December learning about what the Bible says about gifts and gift-giving! Focus on gratitude, acts of service, and the most wonderful gift of all: Jesus!
- Christmas Bible Brick Challenge – The Christmas Story Brick Challenge & Learning Pack lasts 12 days and includes 29 pages with build challenge prompts, a memory verse with copywork, drawing pages, coloring pages, a cut and paste nativity scene, and more!
- Nativity Printable Pack – A free 70-page printable activity pack with Scripture, literacy, and math activities to enjoy.
- Nutcracker Printable Pack – Not about the Bible at all 🙂 but a fun side activity to do with the kids, especially if you like watching the Nutcracker ballet together!
- Three Kings Printable Pack – 126 pages with Scripture, literacy, and math activities to learn about the wise men from the account of Jesus’ birth!