Have you ever heard of the Jesse Tree? We have been blessed to participate in this count down to Christmas devotional for several years now. It is based off of the book pictured above. (You can order it from Amazon.) The devotions start on the first of December and go through Christmas day. One of the things I love about this devotion is it takes you from Creation-to the birth of Christ. Showing Christ from the beginning. There is an old saying "The Old Testament conceals what the New Testament reveals" and this book shows this in a great easy way. We do the devotion each morning and a different child gets to unwrap the ornament for that day.
Each day there is a symbol/ornament that relates to the devotion. Well there is no way I could make all 25 different ornaments. So I have been a part of and hosted an ornament exchange. How this normally works is you get 12 participants including yourself for a total of 13. Each participant picks 2 ornaments and makes 13 replicas of those two ornaments. The hostess has one ornament to make 13 replicas of. Then once you exchange them you have the 25 different ornaments.
This year was a little different because I allowed more participants. Note to self stick with the original plan and make two separate groups if needed. Why have I participated in this several times you might ask? LOL Well I would like a set for each of my kids and also we have given sets as Christmas gifts. This year we gave a set to my sister-in-law and her kids. Gratefully they were going to be here for Thanksgiving so we could give it to them in time to enjoy for this year.
The night of the exchange is a great mom's night out and early Christmas party. We exchanged the week before Thanksgiving. Everyone brought a finger food or dessert to share. Each person brings all of their ornaments individually wrapped with the corresponding number written on them. They also bring one unwrapped to display on the tree for us all to see. I have never been disappointed in this exchange. Everyone does such a great job making the ornaments.
Anastasia helped me and we actually made three this year. The earth, the star and the dove with a crown. I don't think I will do three again and we had to make 19 of each. Big group this year!
Here is the tree from both sides with everyone's ornaments to display: They were all beautiful!
We exchanged and then it was time to hang out and relax and eat and visit. It is always a great time with these ladies.