What is a Jesse Tree?

A Jesse Tree is a decorative tree used during Advent to retell the stories of the Bible that lead to Jesus’s birth. Since Advent is a season of waiting, a Jesse Tree will help to build joy and anticipation as you wait for Christmas.


Jesse Trees have three main parts: A tree, symbolic ornaments, and passages or scripture readings to go along with them.

3d-book-mediumOur Jesse Tree readings come from our children’s book, Bible Character’s for Advent. They are designed to lead children through the entire story of the Bible during Advent in a simple and fun way. They also introduce important religious concepts to children and show how key Bible stories connect to Jesus.

Each day during advent, you will hang a new ornament on the tree and read a passage. We’ve also created a Magnetic Jesse Tree set for all your Jesse Tree characters. Although Advent technically starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, we will start on December first to keep things simple.

Every reading you need to celebrate Advent with your Jesse Tree is included in this guide. You can download the free printable ornaments and ebook when you sign up for the free My Catholic Kids newsletter.


The term Jesse Tree comes from this verse in the book of Isaiah:

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

In this verse, Isaiah predicts the coming of Jesus. He is telling the people that, one day, a great ruler will rise up from the descendants of the great King David. Jesse, was David’s father.

This was exciting news to the people of Isaiah’s time. Many of the kings who ruled after David were poor rulers. They lead their people away from worshiping God. Eventually David’s kingdom split in two and then faded away.

Isaiah’s prophecy of a stump shows how the family of David had been “cut down”. Jesus would be like a new growth and a new hope for the kingdom that was once strong and worshiped God as one.

The Tree of Jesse in Isaiah was the original use of the family tree. So, all of our family tree’s today are based on Jesus’s family tree.


When you celebrate Advent with Bible Character’s for Advent, you will learn how many of the important stories of the Bible relate both to each other and, most importantly, to Jesus. The daily approach of a Jesse Tree helps both children and adults grow in appreciation and excitement for the coming season of Christmas.

This is why Bible Characters for Advent and a Jesse Tree are one of the best ways to celebrate the season of Advent and to truly appreciate the coming of Jesus at Christmas.