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Catholic Activity: Jesse Tree Ideas



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Ethel Marbach gives basic ideas on trimming a Jesse Tree. This is an early version of the Jesse Tree, with less structure and no countdown approach.


Now is the time to start trimming your Jesse tree, that three hung with symbols tracing the genealogy of Christ. The simplest Jesse tree any mother could make is one cut from green construction paper and tacked to a bulletin board or kitchen wall. She could go a step farther and use a miniature real one, cut from the top of a too-big tannenbaum; or even an artificial one bought at the supermarket. From cardboard, construction paper, foil, almost any material that finds its way into your hands, figures or symbols are made representing those who made way for Christ. The symbols are attached to the tree by tape, take, or paste. Some suggested ones:

Apple (with 2 bites out of it) — Adam
Ark — Noah
Knife — Abraham
Kindling Wood — Isaac
Coat of many colors — Joseph
Harp — David
Carpenter’s tools, Donkey — Joseph
Lily — Mary
Chi-Ro — Christ
Milk Jug — Rebecca
Sheaves of wheat or corn — Ruth
Ladder (toothpicks) — Jacob
Sea Shells (try macaroni!) — John the Baptist

Ad infinitem, until imagination, materials, or space on the tree runs out. These could be put on the regular, big Christmas tree, but isolating them, putting them on a tree of their own, makes sure that they will not get lost in the shuffle of tinsel and cookies. (pp. 23-24)

Activity Source: Family Liturgical Customs No. 1: Advent by Ethel Marbach, Abbey Press Publishing Division, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1964