Last year, I participated in a Jesse Tree ornament exchange. For those of you who don't know what a Jesse Tree is, it's a tree (or a branch) on which you hang ornaments that represent the entire story of the Bible. Each of the 24 ornaments matches up to a set of verses and a short family devotional. It's a great way to help your kids see how Jesus' birth relates to the Old Testament. It's called a Jesse Tree because Isaiah 11:1 says this about Jesus: "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit."
It's important for us to connect Christmas with all that God did in the Old Testament. Without understanding the rules of the law and the way God provided for the Israelites, we can't appreciate the sacrifice Jesus made. If we don't understand how sin came into the world, we can't understand how it separates us from God. The Jesse Tree is one way to help your kids grasp these concepts.
Over the years, I've heard from people who are frustrated with the Jesse Tree because it's too in-depth for their young kids. They love the concept but have trouble breaking down the verses for their younger kids.
Today, I want to introduce you to a solution to that problem, Truth in the Tinsel. This e-book takes the idea of the Jesse Tree and makes it accessible for younger kids. Each day you make a printable ornament that helps your child connect the stories in the Bible together. The material is aimed at children ages 3 to 5.
Whether you use Truth in Tinsel, a Jesse Tree or another method, use Christmas as a time to help your kids see that Jesus' birth was the fulfillment of the promises God made in the Old Testament. When we connect the dots for our kids, they can see that God is always faithful, and He always keeps His promises.
For more practical ways to get your kids focused on Jesus during the Christmas season, check out Lori's new e-book Everyday Christmas. Give one as a gift, to pack away with the Christmas decoration so it's ready for next Christmas. Everyday Christmas is available for Kindle, Nook and as a PDF file.