Friday, November 13, 2015

Our Jesse Tree Exchange Party: The Party Details

(For the first Jesse Tree post, click here).

For pictures of all the ornaments, scroll to the end of the post!

After weeks of planning and preparing, it was finally time for our Jesse Tree Ornament Exchange Party. The 27 ladies involved had put so much work into their ornaments, so it was great to get together, celebrate, talk, eat {um...of course}, and learn more about the ornaments and how to use them!

I kept the "party decor" pretty simple. A few tablecloths and centerpieces and we were good to go. I brought a tree so we could display a set of the ornaments, and we were good to go.

When the ladies first got there we set out all the ornaments, and had a great time seeing what everyone had come up with. I was so impressed with everyone and their creativity!

We started the night with eating and fellowship, followed by a couple of door prize drawings for some cute Christmas items (ornaments, travel mugs). At the end of the night I also gave away a couple of the Gospel Project's The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook to use with our Jesse Tree story calendar.

I spoke very briefly about what a Jesse Tree was, the basic how-to's, and we went through each story on the calendar and hung the ornaments on the tree. If you are curious, or if you happened to be a participant who couldn't make it to the party, here are a few talking points from the party. If not...skip on down to the cute pictures!

*As I said in my last post, I chose The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook because it is the curriculum we use at our church. I like that it provides reinforcement for what our kids are learning in life groups, it provides a familiar Christ Connection for our children, and I think it is a little more kid friendly than some Jesse Tree versions I have seen. Some versions can be very heavy into prophecy, which can sometimes go over littles ones' heads. These stories are right on their level, and they show God's redemptive plan throughout the Bible in a way they can understand.

*Everyone's devotional time each night is going to look different. Do what is best for you as far as the age of your children, how much time you have, etc. There may be nights you just read a little bit of the story and pray. There may be nights you do the devotional, pray, sing a song, learn a memory verse, do a craft. You can do as little or as much as you want. The idea is to point your kids to that in whatever way works best for your family!

*The calendar isn't set in stone. Change it up if you need to...use as different Bible if you need to. Once again, do what works for your family! There are lots and lots of Jesse Trees out there, and I am certainly not a Jesse Tree theologian. {I'm sure that's a thing}. I am happy to help you as well if something isn't working for you!

*All of our ornaments fit on a 4 foot tree easily. Mine is pre-lit, and I got it from Walmart for about $25. You could also use a garland or mix them into your traditional tree. Get as creative as you want, or keep it simple.

After our little presentation was over, I gave everyone a bag, and we formed an assembly line to grab our ornaments to take home. It was a simple night, but it was so fun to spend time together. I think we are all excited to get started on our Jesse Tree!

Just for fun and in case you need are pictures of all the ornaments!
They aren't in order because...well...because.

Jonah and the Whale

 The angel Predicted John's Birth

 The Prophecy of Bethlehem from Micah

 A Camel and a Tent for Abraham

Noah's Ark

A Sheaf of Wheat for Ruth and Boaz

John the Baptist is Born

 Jacob's Ladder

 The Birth of Jesus

 Joseph's Coat of Many Colors

 The Star in the Sky at Jesus' birth

The Passover

 The Fiery Furnace

The Ten Commandments

 Daniel and the Lion's Den

 God Tested Abraham

David and Goliath

 The Prophecies of Isaiah

 Sin Entered the World

 The Conquest of Jericho/Rahab

Queen Esther

 Balaam and the Donkey

God Created the World

 Kind David

The Jesse Tree Prophecy

An Angel Visited Mary and Joseph

All done!

(Jesse Tree Exchange Party Part One can be found here)
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