Monday, November 09, 2015

Our Family's Jesse Tree: A Review

I am back again with another review. Because right now this is all I am able to manage on the blogging front. And I'm sure any faithful readers here (all 3 or 4 of you?) forgive me for that.

But, but, but ...

I am so excited to share something new with you! Don't be fooled by the post title, I'm not sharing MY family's Jesse Tree, but a review of a new ebook called Our Family's Jesse Tree by Jen Frost with Melinda Murphy. We have never done a Jesse Tree in my family, but with the help of this cool little book, I believe we will be diving in this year.

Just look at that cute tree on the cover of the book! I'm not sure mine is going to be as cute, but I feel like I can't go wrong following Jen's directions. It'll at least look decent. Let me explain why.

First of all, just recently in one of my Facebook groups someone asked about what sort of trees people use for their Jesse Tree ornaments. She complained that she sees all these different activities for making cute little ornaments but no where has she found anyone who made their own tree. Well ... this is the book! That tree you see on the cover of the book, you can make one just like it. Guess what is under all that cute felt. You'll never guess ... it's a traffic cone! Now, I have no idea where you get a traffic cone, but if you have access to one, more points for you. I was brainstorming and I think I may look for one of those white Styrofoam cones (I think they're Styrofoam, but even if not, I'm 99% sure I've seen something like that in a craft store) would work just as well. Anyway, my point, this book helps you make your own tree, complete with little buttons to hang your ornaments on.

I tell you what, that is one of the main reasons why I can envision using this book this year. Or at least sometime in the near future (if not this year, maybe next year ... for making the tree).

Regardless of whether we do the tree or not, we will definitely do the ornaments. [For a tree, we still have the small tree I had from my single days living in an apartment and later a townhouse, so I could use that for the time being.] The ornaments are cute as a button! And the best part is that Jen gives you 6 different ways for making them. Since my kids are little (4 year old twins and an almost 2 year old) I may print out the black and white coloring versions for the kids to color, cut them out, paste on card stock, and hang them up. Because this is an ebook, next year we can print them out and do the same thing or try something new (depending on how brave this non-crafty mom gets).

Here are four possibilities for making the ornaments
So, #1, this book helps you to make your own Jesse Tree. #2, you have a ton of flexibility on how to make the ornaments. (And did you also notice my subtle hint that even non-crafty people (Yoohoo!) can use this, too?) But wait, there's more ...

The third cool thing about this book is that the Bible readings and prayers are all included as well. Jen and her co-writer Melinda have provided an activity, Scripture reference, summary, a Jesus connection, and a prayer for each day. Since Jen and Melinda come from different faith backgrounds they also worked to make the stories and connections relevant to all Christian believers. In the intro pages she recommends that parents review the materials ahead of time and should feel free to diverge from the printed text as is appropriate for your family's faith background. I read through a few of the days and found them to be good information and very Biblical. I plan on going through it more, but from what I see so far, it all looks great and very flexible depending on the ages of your children.

All that being said, I know you all want to know the details. How can you get your hands on this nifty book? I'm glad you asked. You can get the book for $7.50 as a downloadable PDF. Now, I'm the first person to tell you that I'm not super crazy about ebooks. I like them for quick fiction reads, but not usually for much else. However, I love that this is an ebook, because you can print certain pages and have kids color these each year. Or do the ornaments one way one year and another way the next. So it works great as an ebook. Head on over to the Faith and Fabric Etsy shop HERE to get your copy today. Or, you can get it on the Faith and Fabric Craftsy shop HERE.

Look for more from me on this product soon. I am planning a second review for Catholic Sistas later in the month plus at some point you'll hopefully see an "action shot" of my kids working on their Jesse Tree ornaments. Stay tuned!

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this book for review and no other compensation. My opinions are entirely my own.


  1. so cute! and I love ornaments that will stand the test of time

  2. Kerri, thank you for sharing our book! Your review absolutely warms my heart - and I can't wait to see the colored ornaments your children make!