This week’s Jesse Tree symbols focus primarily on the people involved with the miraculous birth of Jesus. I actually only used five, as seen above, but I will include all 7 symbols given in my book for this week.
Anne and Joachim: According to tradition, Anne and Joachim were the parents of Mary, and the grandparents of Jesus. The book is the symbol of the way Mary was instructed in her faith by her parents. From them, Mary would have heard the story of the chosen people and of the Messiah, Who was to be born of a virgin, and would save the whole world. Little did she know that God had already chosen her to be the mother of His Son.
Mary: Read Luke 1:26-38 Only a pure heart, full of grace, could have responded as Mary did at the Annunciation: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And so we use a heart for Mary’s symbol. A loving heart is also a wonderful symbol for a mother, the heart of the home, and what greater mother is there than Mary?!
Joseph of Nazareth: Read Matthew 1:18-25 Since Joseph was a carpenter, his ornament depicts a hammer and a saw. These tools also represent, on a deeper level, his faithfulness in the daily duties he had taken on as provider and protector of the Holy Family.
Star of Bethlehem: Read Matthew 2:1-12 This one is pretty self-explanatory, and the ease of tracing the star was appreciated by this artistically challenged mom, too!
Baby Jesus: Read Luke 2: 1-20 Every one of my kids wants to be the one chosen to hang this ornament, even the older ones. I traced the Baby Jesus’ head on a piece of paper and glued it on the ornament, kind of peeking up from the manger, with some raffia “straw.” The rest is made of felt. We hang this one near the bottom of the tree, so the little ones can “see Jesus.” I got the most precious picture last Christmas of my then 18-month-old, as she “discovered” Him on the tree.
Shepherds/Angels: These are the two ornaments I haven’t gotten to yet. One has an angel, to represent the angels who appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of a Saviour and giving “Glory to God in the Highest.” The other is a lamb and a shepherd’s crook, representing the shepherds “keeping watch over their flock by night.”
It actually works out perfectly this year that I only have five ornaments for this week, since Christmas Eve is on Friday. After the Christmas Vigil, we’ll come home and finish decorating the tree with our Christmas ornaments, and then carry on with the rest of our Christmas Eve traditions. (Stay tuned!)