Your Own Jesse Tree

It will take planning and work from each family member to make your own Jesse Tree. The needed materials are usually found around most homes. First of all, you will need a Bible. If there are very small children in the family, a Bible picture story book will help them understand the Bible stories used. The tree itself can be one of several types. A small artificial tree works fine, as does a tree branch that is anchored in a bucket or a large can of sand or gravel. The tree branch looks particularly attractive if painted white and sprinkled with silver glitter while the paint is still wet. Another possibility is a large drawing of a tree on cardboard or poster board that can be hung on the wall. 

Growing up in my house we used our own Christmas Tree. We placed the ornaments one by one everyday starting on December 1st until the 24th of December.

Jesse Tree Scriptures (the symbols are only suggestions)

December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth

December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman

December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite

December 4 Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22 Symbols: ark, animals, dove, rainbow

December 5 Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3 Symbols: torch, sword, mountain

December 6 Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14 Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush

December 7 Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15 Symbols: kettle, ladder

December 8 Joseph: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15 Symbols: bucket, well, silver coins, tunic

December 9 Moses: Ex. 2:1-10 Symbols: baby in basket, river and rushes

December 10 Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18 Symbols: lamp, temple

December 11 Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13 Symbols: crimson robe, shepherd’s staff

December 12 David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51 Symbols: slingshot, 6-pointed star

December 13 Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbols: scales of justice, temple, two babies and sword

December 14 Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25 Symbols: hammer, saw, chisel, angle

December 15 Mary: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38 Symbols: lily, crown of stars, pierced heart

December 16 John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8 Symbols: shell with water, river

On December 17, the Church begins to intensify the preparation for Christmas with the use of the “O” Antiphons during the Liturgy of the Hours. The symbols for the Jesse Tree from December 17 to 23 are based on the “O” Antiphons.

December 17 Jesus is Wisdom: Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus in old Bibles) 24:2; Wisdom 8:1 Symbols: oil lamp, open book

December 18 Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1 Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets

December 19 Jesus is Flower of Jesse: Isaiah 11:1-3 Symbols: flower, plant with flower

December 20 Jesus is Key of David: Isaiah 22:22 Symbols: key, broken chains

December 21 Jesus is the Radiant Dawn: Psalm 19:6-7 (in older Bibles this will be Psalm 18) Symbols:sun rising or high in sky

December 22 Jesus is King of the Gentiles: Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20 Symbols: crown, scepter

December 23 Jesus is Emmanuel: Isaiah 7:14; 33:22 Symbols: tablets of stone, chalice and host

December 24 Jesus is Light of the World: John 1:1-14 Symbols: candle, flame, sun

(Activity Source: Jesse Tree Kit, A by Betsy Walter, Pauline Books and Media, Boston, MA, 1983)