Charisse Tierney looks forward to a beloved family Advent tradition, as a constant in a year filled with instability.
For several years, our family has been counting down the days to Christmas with a Jesse Tree.
The kids enjoy the tradition and I love the meaning behind the Jesse Tree, but all too often our intentions to keep up with it every day fall by the wayside, and I find myself looking for ways to keep my kids more engaged in the scripture stories and symbols.
So I came up with our peg doll Jesse Tree.
I chose a Jesse Tree guidebook that I liked and used the names, symbols, and Scripture passages from that as my inspiration. I created a peg doll for each day with that day’s symbol painted on it, and hand lettered a card with the name, a short Scripture passage, and symbol related to that day. I put each doll with its card into a small canvas bag stamped with that day’s number.
My kids look forward to opening a bag each day to discover who is inside. After we pass around the peg doll and read about that person from the Bible, the kids get to place the doll in a tree-shaped shelf I found at a craft store.
We all have fun watching the Christmas tree fill up with Jesus’ ancestors as we await the day when we get to place baby Jesus on the top shelf.
It did take quite a bit of time to make all of those dolls and cards, but it was well worth it! My kids have already started talking about getting the peg doll Jesse Tree out this year.
In a year filled with so much change and uncertainty, our liturgical traditions within the home are more important than ever. Our peg doll Jesse Tree is one tradition my kids can count on this year.
As your family prepares for Christmas, may you, too, find a sense of stability in the security of the rhythm of the liturgical seasons.
Copyright 2020 Charisse Tierney
Images copyright 2020 Charisse Tierney. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Charisse Tierney lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Rob and seven children. Charisse is a stay-at-home mom, musician, NFP teacher, and a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist. She is also a contributing author to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion and Family Foundations magazine. Charisse blogs at Paving the Path to Purity and can be found on Facebook.