Last year we simply used our regular sized tree, strung it with purple lights, and hung our ornaments on it each night. It was simple... in theory. In actuality, the kids took down the ornaments over, and over, and over. Every day. I also noticed that since all the ornaments were the same size and shape with the same background color, they were too similar for any of them to be eye catching. So my plans for this year were to address those two problems.
I started by making a tree out of stiffened felt, using hot glue to attach the pieces together. It's approximately 3 feet tall and will be hung on our oversized bulliten board in the playroom ... out of reach of tiny hands.
Next came the ornaments. I couldn't use the same ones as last year so I set about looking for a new (printable) set. I found some gorgeous printouts at Catholic Artworks, (though they don't seem to be offering free downloads anymore, you can still purchase a full set.) I was able to download about 14 ornaments from their site, each with a front and back image and brief description. I still had several days to fill in so I made some of my own ornaments simply using pictures from Google images and adding the reading at the bottom. I also knew I wanted to have ornaments for the O Antiphons, but since I couldn't find anything ready to print, I designed some dual sided ones using these beautiful images.
I printed all the ornaments in color, laminated them, and used a hole punch at the top to be able to hang them. (I will use rounded push pins on the felt tree but could easily pull some ribbon through if I wanted to hang them on a real tree.)
I snapped this image as I was making sure all of the ornaments would fit, making last minute adjustments to the tree pieces before gluing anything. It's from my phone's camera so the quality isn't very good, but you can get the idea. The star on top has the Chi Rho symbol in it, making it the final ornament hung on Christmas Day.
I love that this layout will allow for easier viewing of all the ornaments.
JESSE TREE SCRIPTURES AND ORNAMENTS
December 1 ~ Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbol: earth
December 2 ~ Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24
December 3 ~ Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbol: apple
December 4 ~ Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22
December 5 ~ Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3
December 6 ~ Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14
December 7 ~ Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15
December 8 ~ Joseph: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15
December 9 ~ Moses: Ex. 2:1-10
December 10 ~ Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18 Symbol: lamp
December 11~ Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13
December 12 ~ David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51
December 13 ~ Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbol: scales of justice
December 14 ~ Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25
December 15 ~ Mary: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38
December 16 ~ John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8 Symbol: shell with water
December 17 ~ O Sapientia : O Wisdom
December 18 ~ O Adonai : O Lord
December 19 ~ O Radix Jesse : O Root of Jesse
December 20 ~ O Clavis David : O Key of David
December 21 ~ O Oriens : O Rising Dawn
December 22 ~ O Rex Gentium : O King of Nations
December 23 ~ O Emmanuel : O God-With-Us
December 24 ~ The Birth of Jesus (infant Jesus)…Luke 2:1-20
December 25 ~ Christ Our Lord (Chi Rho star)…John 1:1-18