I made a Jesse tree! I’ve been thinking about this for years and I’m really pleased to have finally done it. I love a craft project and this has been a really fun one.
Our local framing shop gives out free scuffed mountboard, so that’s what I used for the tree and ornaments. The tree would have been sturdier with three whole layers but I only grabbed three sheets so I made do by “artistically” patching on reinforcing bits. I then spray painted the whole thing gold.
I drew the ornament designs freehand, inspired by the outline-plus-primary-colour style of Enid Chadwick. The black borders are just felt tip. The striped threads are saved from long-ago presents.
I know there are a lot of different sets of ornaments and verses, but we used this schema mainly because I liked the story it tells and it felt like a good balance between Old Testament and pre-nativity gospel. I did switch some of the ornament designs because they seemed easier to draw!
I don’t think I will get round to making a booklet this year, but I’m planning to for next year. And maybe it will be good to have a beta testing year before committing anything to paper! (I, uh, also need to figure out how to get baby Jesus on to the top!)
And, one major win for me: the tree and ornaments will pack flat without damage for space-saving storage.
So that’s our big plan for Advent, but I have a few other little plans.
- No meat, alcohol or coffee
- Morning offering every day (I hope to keep this up afterwards but need to memorise the prayer to have any hope of saying it ever)
- Rosary every day (I doubt I will keep this up but I want to try it out over Advent to see if it “fits well” with me – I also view this as an opportunity to memorise the prayers I’m a bit shaky on)
- Wipe down the kitchen counters, sweep the kitchen floor and brush the loos every day (faithfully doing “morning chores” of dishwasher, laundry and meal prep has really smoothed our lives, and I want to add in an additional chore time for me either at naptime or in the evening of things I would like to make sure I do every single day)
- Finish knitting Mr Homefarer’s scarf by the end of the year (I’m a quarter of the way through!)
I’ve printed myself out the morning offering, rosary prayers and daily to-do list on a piece of paper so I’ve got all the reminders in one place.