Christmas:  A Season of Giving

The following activities can be repeated year after year when preparing for your celebration of the birth of Christ.  If you do not already have a Jesse Tree, the first year you can make two Jesse Trees, one for your family and one to give as a gift to a family or group (i.e. convalescent home) who does not already have one.  Each subsequent year, you can make one Jesse Tree to give as a gift.

For directions on how to make the ornaments, my favorite Internet site is by Catherine Fournier.  She has some great patterns for the ornaments.  I recommend printing the .pdf patterns as they have cleaner images than the .gif patterns.  For hanging the ornaments, she also has a few photos showing a Jesse Tree banner and wooden trees.  Another option is to purchase a small artificial Christmas tree.  

In addition to making a Jesse Tree to be given away as a gift, you can make Cookies-in-a-Jar gifts to be given to neighbors, friends, and/or extended family.  Be sure to include a Christmas Bible verse on each recipe card.  I recommend choosing Cookies-in-a-Jar recipes from Allrecipes.com.  I prefer this site because Cookies-in-a-Jar recipes are sometimes known for not coming out quite the way you expected.  This site has reviews by folks who have actually used the recipes and who have offered some helpful hints on making the recipes better. 

When spending time in the daily devotions related to each Jesse Tree ornament, be sure to include a time of praise and prayer.  For some Christmas song lyrics and sheet music, you can refer to ChristmasSongBook.net.  Be sure to have your computer volume turned up to hear the accompanying organ music.  (Each Sunday, consider lighting an Advent candle in addition to making that day’s Jesse Tree ornament.)