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How to Celebrate Advent with a Jesse Tree

  I first learned about the Jesse Tree from a now defunct blog way back in 2009. I fully embraced the idea, creating fancy felt ornaments that first year and writing and rewriting devotions for my young family over the next couple of Christmas seasons. Eventually, at the urging of my local friends, I compiled my devotions into a (very rough) printable devotional for families with young children. I passed it out far and wide, and lots of friends were able to use it. A few years after that, when that early free ebook had been downloaded over 10,000 times, … Read more

10 Ways to Count Down to Christmas

Do you know what Advent is? It officially begins this coming Sunday, November 29. Advent is the season of waiting for Christmas. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve, but some people celebrate it just from December 1 to 24. No matter when you observe it, Advent is a time of happiness, celebration, and hopeful anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ. Whether you are young or old, waiting is hard. I personally hate to wait. Counting down helps the time to pass. It gives us something to look forward to every day, and … Read more

Looking for Bilingual Readers to Translate the Jesse Tree Devotional

How to Celebrate Advent with a Jesse Tree

My Jesse Tree Devotional has now been downloaded over 18,500 times. It continues to spread across the internet, even though a third of Advent has already passed. In the last 5 days, it has been downloaded over 2,000 times. I am amazed and humbled and excited to be a part of something that is able to touch so many lives. Over the last couple of weeks, I counted profits of my friends who sell their Advent ebooks and real books, and I’ve been feeling a little down. I’ve been feeling a little small. I thought, “If I charged even $1.99 … Read more

Jesse Tree FAQ

How to Celebrate Advent with a Jesse Tree

Advent starts this weekend – Saturday or Sunday depending on whether you follow the December 1-24 plan or the 4 Sundays before Christmas plan. I follow whichever plan gives me more days for my Jesse Tree. I have been bugging Joe to dig out my Jesse Tree and Cookie from the basement, but he hasn’t done it yet. I’m ready to get this party started. I get a lot of email questions about the Jesse Tree. Here are the most common ones: What is a Jesse Tree? The Jesse Tree is a special kind of Advent calendar that traces the … Read more

Ignoring the Fracas

laughing baby

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I’m not sure where it went wrong. We have a routine. Every night, we sit down for dinner as a family. We light the candles in our Advent wreath. I get out the day’s ornament for the Jesse tree, and I find the reading that goes along with it. In between feeding Allie and myself, I read the story from either The Jesus Storybook Bible or Grace’s pink sequin Bible, and we talk about the meaning of the story. The tradition is genuine and sincere and comfortable. Tonight, my … Read more

Our Christmas Traditions

In honor of the beginning of Advent (which was yesterday for my family), I am posting kid-friendly Christmas traditions all week this week. I love traditions. I love predictability, knowing exactly how things are going to work. It’s just my personality. When Grace was born, Joe and I began traditions for our little family. I asked Joe what traditions we honor in our family, and he said, “I don’t know. We put a tree up.” Men. Gifts from Momma & Daddy On Christmas Eve, our children get two presents from Joe and I. One of those presents is a new, … Read more