Jesse Tree Ornaments: A Unit Study Resource for Advent

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I invite you this Advent to use these unit study ideas and suggestions centered around the Jesse Tree ornaments and devotion. It’s a favorite devotion of mine because it so well prepares our hearts and minds during the Advent season for the coming of our Lord. What better way for kids to learn about Salvation History and the genealogy of Jesus during Advent!

Jesse Tree Ornaments & Activities | Harrington Harmonies

Most of these wonderful ornaments came to me from a Jesse Tree swap that I participated in last year-so I didn’t make them all myself. A few of the patterns came from this Jesse Tree PDF while others were created by the moms themselves. Each mom in our homeschool support group planned three ornaments for each of the children to make. At the end of the gathering, each family had a full set of Jesse Tree ornaments! Isn’t that a great idea! Perhaps you would like to use these Jesse Tree ornaments to plan a swap for your homeschool support group this year.

I like taking a nice break from homeschooling (and blogging)  in December but still want to do some light schooling along with an Advent devotion. The suggestions below add a bit of homeschool to the Advent mix. Each day you’ll find some or all of the following:

  • ornaments and scripture readings for the day
  • mini Advent reflection
  • book recommendations
  • resource links for research, crafts, projects, printables and other homeschooling supplements

I am giving you these ideas and suggestions in enough time to either make the ornaments ahead of time or simply have fun making them on the day of each reflection. It’s up to you!

*Disclaimer: Parents please note that not all the resources listed are Catholic sources and therefore may have varied doctrinal interpretations and need adaptation. My intent is to make this a resource for all Christians which they can then use and modify according to their tradition.*

Begin the activities on Dec. 1. for Advent 2013

Begin the Activities on Nov. 30 for Advent 2014

Jesse Tree Ornaments and Activities | Harrington HarmoniesAdvent Week 1: Light One Purple Candle

Creation Jesse Tree OrnamentDay 1: Creation

  • Light one purple candle if you have an Advent wreath for week 1 and pray: “Lord, we thank you for creating this wonderful world. Help us to be good stewards and rejoice in it’s blessings which come from you.”
  • Read Genesis 1: 26-31  This Genesis Lapbook is a great resource if you are interested in using a lapbook as we go through the book of Genesis.
  • Play a number and match game with the days of creation or create a sequence of events board.
  • For older kids…Check out this awesome 7 Days of creation Lego project!
  • Or you can make your own creation timeline.
  • Math: Be sure your younger children know how to write numbers in sequential order.

Adam and Eve Jesse Tree Ornaments | Harrington HarmoniesDay 2: Adam and Eve

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

  • In what ways have we fallen short in our faithfulness to God? Do an examination of conscience with your children today and make plans to go to reconciliation during this Advent season.
  • Use this prayer pail idea. In addition to nighttime prayers add questions for examination of conscience.
  • Don’t forget to emphasize that God promised us a Savior and that our sins are forgiven.

Noah's Ark Jesse Tree Ornament | Harrington HarmoniesDay 3: Noah’s Ark

  • Light one purple candle if you have an Advent wreath for week 1 and pray: “Lord thank you for always keeping your promises. Help us to bring peace to others.”
  • Read Genesis 6:11-14, Genesis 7: 17-18, and Genesis 8: 8 to Genesis 9:13
  • Make a dove paper plate craft  or a dove hand print painting -you may like to add messages of peace to them and give them to someone for encouragement today!
  • How are both the dove and the olive branch symbols for peace? Make peace with someone whom you need to reconcile with.
  • God always keeps his promises. What promises have you made that you have yet to keep? If possible, fulfill your promise today.

Camel Jesse Tree Ornaments | Harrington HarmoniesDay 4: Abraham’s Faith

  • Light one purple candle if you have an Advent wreath for week 1 and pray: “Lord help us to do your will and when called by you to do something, the courage to do it.”
  • Read Genesis 12: 1-7
  • Discuss – Have you ever made a long trip or pilgrimage? What was it like? Would you have the faith to do what Abraham did? As a military family we move a lot so this one we can really relate to. Are we obedient to God like Abraham? We must remember to build a “spiritual alter and pitch a tent” in our hearts for God wherever He may lead us.
  • If you don’t already have one, make an alter or prayerful area in your home. If one already exists spruce it up or add a new element to it. Here are just a few possibilities:
  1. Add a St. Barbara’s branch for the season of Advent.  St. Barbara was one of the original 14 holy helpers and is a patron for soldiers, especially artillery men.
  2. Make a manger and add straw for good deeds till it’s time to lay baby Jesus in it.
  3. Add fresh flowers, a new statue, or holy image that has significance for your family.

Star Jesse Tree Ornaments | Harrington HarmoniesDay 5: Abraham’s Descendants

Ram Jesse Tree Ornaments | Harrington HarmoniesDay 6: Issac’s Sacrifice

  • Light one purple candle if you have an Advent wreath for week 1 and pray: “Lord, help us to believe you are leading us in the right way and that you will provide all that we need.”
  • Read Genesis 22:1-14
  • Issac didn’t know the sacrifice offered was to be himself. But in the end God provided a replacement sacrifice. This was a test of faith for Abraham and a reminder for us that God is trustworthy.
  • Discuss: How does Issac’s sacrifice prefigure of our Lord ‘s one and perfect sacrifice on the cross? (Issac was loved by his father and was his only son just as Jesus in the only begotten Son of the Father. Issac carried bundles of wood and our Lord carried the cross. Etc.)
  • Make Issac’s bundle of sticks for snack time today.
  • Make a poster or booklet that is titled:

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus ~Philippians 4:19

Write on the poster how God has been providing for you lately. You might like to use this Philippians 4:19 color page.

Liturgical Calendar-Note* Today is also the feast of St. Nicholas.  We have always loved this video: Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa by CCC. You can also celebrate with a little St. Nicholas study . Then buy a chocolate Santa or coins to give to others.

Jacob's ladder OrnamentDay 7: Jacob’s Ladder

  • Light one purple candle if you have an Advent wreath for week 1 and pray: “Lord, everything I have belongs to you.”
  • Read Genesis 28:10-22
  • Make Jacob’s ladder today and place Jacob’s life event or story points on the angel pattern or make this Jacob’s ladder mini book.
  • Discuss: How does God provides for us and do we lives as if all that we have belongs to him? Help your child/children evaluate where their treasure lies (Matthew 6:20). What possessions are most important to them? Which ones would they be sad if they lost?


Click the links below for ornaments and ideas for:

Advent Week 2

Advent Week 3

Advent Week 4

Now hop around for more Holiday Unit Studies from the bloggers of iHomeschool Network :Holiday Unit Study Hop

Advent and Christmas Resources I recommend:

Make a Star of Bethlehem with this free, simple and easy Pastel Tutorial from Hodgepodge! Find even more Christmas Pastel lessons in:

Simple Christmas Art Lessons

This year I was happy to also find a lovely little Advent Calendar story. I’ll be reviewing it soon! I plan to use this for our homeschool this Advent in addition to the Jesse Tree Ornaments which I will also be using with my CCD class. I was especially delighted by this lovely little book because of the German traditions shared in it. It made me recall living in Germany and I really enjoyed that. I can’t wait to read it with my son this December!


How to Make a Jesse Tree: From the Mommy Mess

Advent Alphabet Plans: A Literature Rich Advent  by Training Happy Hearts

Christmas Lapbook from Aussie Pumpkin Patch

Nature Study Through the Holidays: Advent from Shining Dawn Books

12 Days of Christmas (traditions and history focusing on keeping Christ in Christmas) from Serving Joyfully

Christmas Around the World from Confessions of a Homechooler

A Norwegian Style Christmas from Eva Varga

Five Days of Christmas Carols – A Free Unit Study from Homegrown Learners

The meaning Behind The Twelve Days of Christmas from A Diligent Heart


  1. says

    Thank you for this wonderful resource. I am really going to try and work with this during Advent this year. I know my younger kids will really find it meaningful. I hope I can manage to follow through…..

    • says

      You are welcome. Don’t worry that’s why I started this early…I plan to have a week released at a time. So you should be able to visit back next week to find Week 2! My plan is to have each week of Advent posted on Mondays till Advent begins. That way you can gather up your resources each week for those weeks and have everything ready by Advent. He’s my plan: Week 2-Nov. 13
      Week 3- Nov. 18
      Week 4-Nov. 25
      I am so happy that you find this a good resource for your family! Blessings to you!

  2. says

    We have a Jesse Tree tradition at our house also, Stephanie. And our set of ornaments is also from an ornament swap! It is the basis for our December family devotions and I’m already looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing yours. This is a great resource for all families.

  3. Heather S says

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. We always start out strong with the Jesse Tree, but have a hard time being consistent. This gives some great ideas to make it more meaningful for the kids.


    • says

      Thanks! I totally understand. There is going to be much more in here than what most of us will have time for unless that’s all we are doing in December. So this is a pick and choose type of resource- do as much or as little as desired:) And I hope it is a reference people can come back to. I also loose steam toward the end with my Advent wreath and Jesse Tree due to the busyness of the season. We just do what we can and find the joy in it! After all…these devotions aren’t to burden us but aid us in our preparation. God bless you too!

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