How I’m Approaching Christmas Differently This Year

Christmas evokes so many emotions for many of us.  I tend to be stressed around the holidays.  So, I’m determined to do things a little differently this year.


For starters, we are not putting up our regular Christmas tree.  I don’t have anything against Christmas trees, but it’s just the start of doing things differently this year.  I don’t have a lot of space right now, and after spending a few weeks cleaning out my daughters’ room, I don’t have the energy (emotional energy) to make space for the tree.  Also, I realized one reason these type traditions cause me stress is because they don’t really go my way – it doesn’t live up to my expectations.  I knew that this year opening up the box of ornaments from years past would bring too many emotions (too personal to share here).  This year, I want to start fresh.

This is the year to start new traditions – I don’t have a baby in the house and my little ones are actually old enough to participate in festivities and my older ones are old enough to help make it special.

So here’s the plan: a Jesse tree on the refrigerator.

I found a few great Jesse tree resources online (All These Things and Confessions of a Homeschooler), but I’m modifying it and adding my personal touches.  I printed off some ornaments, had the kids color them, laminating them, and sticking a magnet to the back.


Each day the kids will open a group package that will have instructions – a Scripture to read and sometimes more.  There will be something to add to the tree each day and some sort of gift relating to the theme of the day.  The gifts are not going to be elaborate or expensive, just something to add a fun element, something to be anticipated each day.

Because I’m personalizing/modifying a few different Jesse tree plans, I have not finished yet.  But I will share with you here a few days at a time.  (I may be making it up as we go.)

Day 1

  • Read Isaiah 11
  • Answer the question: Why is it called a Jesse tree?
  • Open the package – construction paper
  • Make the Christmas tree, using the construction paper. (We are putting ours on the fridge and our ornaments will have magnets on the back.

Day 2

  • Read Genesis 1-2. (I also have a great picture resource from CEF for telling Bible stories.)
  • Open the package – playdough
  • Make something out of the playdough – remember God is Creator.
  • Add the magnet to the Jesse tree.

Day 3

  • Read Genesis 3.
  • Focus on Genesis 3:15.  Who is going to crush Satan’s head?  This is a prophesy of Jesus.  Part of the Jesse tree idea is to walk through the Old Testament and see where it points to Jesus.

And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel. – Gen. 3:15

  • Open the package – gummy snakes. (I was going to use gummy worms, but I was pleased to find gummy snakes!)
  • Now, have everyone take a bite out of the snake’s head!
  • Add the magnet to the Jesse tree.


Coming Soon

I will post a few pictures once we get going. We are planning on starting Friday, December 1st!

Also, I don’t have it all perfectly planned out yet, but I’m not going to let that derail me.  If we end up doing only 20 days instead of 24, it’s still worth doing!  Check out my blog post about Homeschooling Imperfectly.

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