Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Review is In :: Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of The Jesse Tree Tradition

Every year at Christmas, the boys and I celebrate Advent through a variety of ways. This year, we were wanting to incorporate the Jesse Tree into our Christmas tradition as a way to celebrate the birth of Jesus. For those unfamiliar with the Jesse Tree, it is a depiction of Christ’s ancestors and begins with Jesse of Bethlehem, the father of King David and is a representational family tree. Its origins are found in a passage of the Book of Isaiah, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."

Here is an artistic depiction of a Jesse Tree created in 1485 by Jacques de Besancon of Paris. It depicts 43 generations. While beautiful, our tradition would need a more modern Jesse Tree.

Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of The Jesse Tree Tradition written by Theresa Seidlitz and illustrated by Katia Lara helps recreate the Jesse Tree for children and families who would like to incorporate this idea into their Christmas celebrations.
The author, Theresa Seidlitz wrote this book when she was ten years old in hopes to share their family tradition with others. Each night, before they began a new story about Jesus’ ancestors, her family would sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” together. In the book Countdown to Christmas: 24 Days of The Jesse Tree Tradition, the author has included the words to this cherished song.

The book begins with the December 1st reading featuring Adam and Eve and a paraphrased story from Genesis 2. Following the reading, a child may hang the corresponding paper ornament which are included in this book. Each subsequent night, a new reading about Jesus’ ancestors accompanied by a new ornament to hang, guide families through the Jesse Tree tradition. The very last story to be read on Christmas Eve is about the birth of Jesus and should be followed with the singing of “Silent Night.”

Easily read, single-page stories combined with beautifully illustrated pages and ornaments make this book extra special to children. I see it quickly becoming a family tradition in our home. Editor, Marguerite Hartill, feels this book allows, “Children to learn that Jesus had a family just like they do. They learn that, with God, families grow confident and strong.”

Everything you need to start your own Jesse Tree tradition are included, save the string and something to hang your ornaments with. The paper ornaments have already been hole punched for ease of hanging. Best of all, this is a children’s book written by a child, which helps to soften some of the harder parts of the Bible for young readers.

Be sure to order your copy before December 1st and start a new tradition this year with your family! 


{Disclosure: This book was provided to me free of charge by the publishing company Canter Press and marketing firm PRbytheBook. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.}

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