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Christmas Memories—Then and Now


jesse tree

Times have changed. But I still remember one Christmas tradition our family enjoyed. We gathered in the dining room for a luscious meal then adjourned into the living room where our Christmas tree, bare except for lights, stood ready for our homemade ornaments patterned after the Jesse Tree.

First we read the story of the Jesse Tree which tells, through the use of symbols, the Biblical story from creation to the birth of Christ. We learned that in Medieval times, when the  tradition of the Jesse Tree first began, people created  large carvings, tapestries or even stained glass windows to place in churches for members of the congregation who were illiterate.

Nowadays, the cutout symbols represent Bible stories we know so well. For example, the earth represents the Creation, a picture of an apple is the Garden of Eden, and a rainbow is symbolic of Noah and the flood—and many more.

So, now it was time to get creative. Each family member chose a couple of symbols for ornaments they wished to construct from the variety of materials I had accumulated and set out on the dining room table. When the ornaments were completed, we hung them on the tree. The next week we gathered again and told the Christmas story. In the correct order, each person removed their ornament, relayed the Bible story and replaced the cutout on the tree. Afterward we prayed and asked the Lord to help us keep Christmas in our hearts every day of the year.

But alas, those were the wonderful days when our children were home to celebrate. In the last ten years, we’ve traveled in our RV and our tree morphed from a six-foot pine to a two foot plastic tree small enough to fit in our coach. But we still remembered the real reason for the season as we celebrated with our Florida friends in a room full of white-haired Christians instead of boisterous children. I suppose we’ll head on to Florida again this year.


IMG_7532About the Author:

Christmas has always been a special time of year for June. As a child, the celebration was about family, food, gifts, and fun. Now as an adult, June loves the season because we celebrate the birth of our Savior. An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Find June and her books online at Amazon or at www.junefoster.com