Jesse Tree

In case you haven’t noticed it’s December! My family loves Christmas. We light up the whole, and I mean WHOLE, house. We eat peanut butter balls and sugar cookies until we’re sick. We wrap gifts and make ornaments. Our holiday season probably looks a lot like yours.

But let’s face it… as much as we all love Christmas it’s also a crazy busy time. Programs, staff parties, year end meetings, the list goes on and on. Pete and I are very purposeful about creating memories and traditions with our family. We don’t want our kids to just remember the meetings… we want them to realize why we passionately serve God, we want to help create spiritual virtues in their lives.

One of our favorite family Christmas traditions is the Jesse Tree. Jesse Tree is a way of celebrating the Advent season that addresses, in particular, how the Old Testament stories all point to the coming of Christ. It’s based on Isaiah 11:1-2.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD”

We use a very simple Jesse Tree curriculum and I’ll be honest, we don’t fit in everyday, but we do try to do it most days. We started a few years ago and used paper ornaments the boys cut out and colored, but more recently the moms’ group I led decided to do a Jesse Tree ornament swap.

The swap was easy, everyone chose a day and made 26 of the same ornament…. I was in charge of Bethlehem.

Then we got together and swapped…

It was so easy and so much fun. I was so excited about the unique collection of ornaments I received. The collection of ornaments have definitely become part of our yearly family tradition that we all look forward to pulling out of the attic.

We keep a special tree sit up in the kitchen with the Jesse Tree ornaments and curriculum close by.

Then each night we sit down as a family, read the scripture, hang the ornament, have age appropriate discussion and close with one of the kids praying. It’s a sweet time.

That’s one way our family slows down during this busy ministry season to focus on the Main Thing.

What does your family do to help maintain your focus during the Christmas season? I’d love to hear some of your family traditions.


Brandi is a wife to Pete and a mom to Jett, Gage, and Brewer. Her life is truly “Brandi & Boys.” Brandi has been a pastor’s wife for almost 15 years. She and her husband planted Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee in 2002. Brandi has a heart for women in ministry and co-leads a ministry for pastors’ wives at LeadingandLovingIt.com. Brandi loves to be organized, but hates to clean and ice cream is her favorite food.