Jesse box?

For light reading at the beach last week, I bought a few holiday magazines. I fell in love with the Danish- inspired stuff one family did, especially these garlands of Advent bags they had for each kid: one bag numbered for each day with a little something inside.

Yes! I decided we were going to do that. I’ve got fabric for the bags a simple way to do it. But then I started thinking about the hassle of finding something for the bags each year and the precedent of 25 days of little gifts.

We bought Zora a really beautiful little handpainted wood fairy doll from etsy a few weeks ago, and of course I started thinking, huh, if I could paint, I could make that.

And then my mind started wandering to Jesse trees (either a Jesus family tree or a series of symbols that tell the redemption story, with one for each day in December).

What if I used the bags for the Jesse tree thing?

Truth be told, I had decided this was too complicated, but on impulse, with a free day today, ( and after finding the doll forms on sale at a hobby store) thought I might try it.

So we now have 25 dolls. I picked characters that appear in Zora’s children’s Bible, with a few others thrown in (just in case you want to critique my list, biblical scholars!). I tried to include some of the women. And I tried to come up with a symbol for most of them (stars on Abraham’s clothing, a lion at Daniels feet, a hammer for Nehemiah). I’m a little frustrated that many of the women got a babe in arms (or two in Rebecca’s case) as their symbol because they did do stuff other than have babies, but no one can be perfect.

I finished painting them and then worked with a drill and some dowels to make a bare tree. That turned out wonky, and then I couldn’t bear to glue or drill into the heads of my little people to turn them into ornaments.

And then my eye fell on the nice wood clementine box on my counter. Backdrop/theater? Sure! I painted the sky and the land and a stump with a shoot (you can’t see it too well but I also put the firmament on the inside top panel…never too early to get kids straight about Ancient Near East cosmology!)

And I think the whole deal is pretty darn cute. If I whip out the bags people, we’ll have some pretty good motivation for advent Bible stories around here.

The funniest thing about this whole experiment: I feel like I need to thank everyone from my middle school shop teacher to my seminary Old Testament professors! I kept thinking, “Wow, you are really using all the disciplines here. Nice work!”

This would be a great family project with slightly older kids who are into the crafty stage, too. I sort of regret that I couldn’t hold off for a few years until Zora could have done more of the painting. At least I paint like a child so it has that sort of vibe to it!

And now, I need to get Zora to give up the people, clean up, and get on with supper!

One Response to “Jesse box?”

  1. Sarah McQueen Says:

    Would love to see a photo!!! :)

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