If you're not familiar with the concept, a Jesse Tree is basically a "tree" of some sort, to which a family adds an ornament each day up until Christmas. The ornaments tell the story of Jesus' ancestors, and of the events before Jesus' birth, leading up to Christmas, through a daily Bible reading. (Here's a better explanation.)
You can purchase kits and books to make a Jesse Tree. There are tons of books on Jesse Trees available. There are also some really cool Jesse Tree craft kits available.
For the more frugal minded folks like myself, though, you can easily create your own tree. You can use any of the free printable ornaments offered online (like these: Faith Magazine, OSV in two sizes, or the ones we'll be using this year from Paper Dali) and let your children color them.
Or, you can get a little more creative and sew, felt , or sculpt your own ornaments (like these: Simple Mom, The Mac and Cheese Chronicles). I confess, I've spent a couple of hours online searching through the many creative ways that people make their Jesse Tree ornaments. Check out the beautiful varieties that Catholic Icing found!
There are also lots of places to find printable reflections and explanations of each day's ornament. I like these from RCA church-- they are geared more towards children, and include a discussion question each day. There are plenty of others out there, including OSV's printable version.
The reading my family is using this year come from Kathleen M. Basi's new book: Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family. (*Note: this is NOT a sponsored post- I purchased this book myself after finding it online.) The book includes daily readings that are geared towards younger children. There are also pages of clip art tags that you could cut out and use for your ornaments... though the graphics aren't great if your kids want to color them.
Jesse Trees either started on December 1st, or, on November 29th, depending on which source you use for your readings and ornaments. There's still plenty of time to get your tree together and share this activity with your family.
Remembering the real "reason for the season" definitely works for me!
Check out more WFMW tips at We Are That Family!