Saturday Sursee :: The Jesse Tree Project


Telling the Story of Jesus

Hey friends,

Today is November 1st!  Woo-hoo.  So excited about my Sursee Saturday today as I want to share a good friend of mine with you today, Jacki Rucksdashel.  Jacki has a passion for sharing God’s truth with her family and today we will learn about one way she does this through The Jesse Tree Project.  She will share how this special celebration will add up to a Sursee a Day for the Christmas Season. It will be something you will want to start this year and then share with another gal.  Take it away, Jacki-

The Christmas season brings great anticipation.

We can’t wait to take a bite out of our favorite Christmas treat.  We look forward to decorating the tree while listening to Christmas carols.  We eagerly welcome family and friends home to gather together.   And who doesn’t like presents?!!

Our family is anticipating all of those things but something even more.  We are celebrating the keeping of a promise, the birth of Jesus.

advent countdown for Jesse Tree Project

Beginning December 1st our children pull down a paper sack from our advent calendar.  They open it with great excitement as they pull out an ornament that tells a story.  The greatest love story lived for each one of us, the redeeming story of the love of God our Father through His son.

It’s called the Jesse Tree.

Jesse is David’s father, and in the book of Isaiah a promise is given that from Jesse’s family will come a Savior.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.  Isaiah 11:1-3,10

The Jesse Tree is our family’s way to daily stop and focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  Each day we open our Bible and our devotional, and then read a story from Christ’s lineage to remember the faithfulness and mercy of our God in rescuing us from sin.  We begin at Creation and finish on Christmas Day with the birth of Jesus, each day hanging an ornament on our tree reminding us of God’s love.  idea for ornament display for the Jesse Tree Project

A few years ago, my husband and I wrote a devotional to use as a family.  We invited 24 of our friends to do an ornament exchange.  We each picked a story from the Jesse Tree, then decorated 24 of the same ornaments, and met together to “swap.”  Each one of us went home with a complete, unique set of homemade ornaments to begin the Jesse Tree December 1st with our families.

This Christmas will be our fourth year to do the Jesse Tree as a family.  Our children look forward to it every single year and we love finding “sursees” to include in their advent bags!  A sticker, a piece of candy, a small gift.

But what each one of us looks forward to the most is the ornament and Bible story that shares a piece of God’s amazing love story for each one of us.

We invite you to join us.  Please head over to The Jesse Tree Project to find our ebook devotional, steps to lead your own ornament exchange, and lots of ideas to surprise and build anticipation this Christmas season with your family to receive the GREATEST gift.

Jacki Rucksdashel

Jacki Rucksdashel

Find Jacki at

On Facebook:  The Jesse Tree Project

and on Pinterest: Jesse Tree Project where there are oodles of ideas and SURSEES for you!





  1. i did a jesse tree every year when i taught at a Christian school. we did it several years ago in our family but i didn’t really like the devo that i used. just downloaded my ebook from your friend and excited to go buy some ornaments and be ready by december 1st. thanks leslie!!

  2. Gal, Yay! I actually had you in mind when I talked with Jacki about guest posting….I wondered if you had heard about it. Go check out her Pinterest board- so many cute ideas. And sign up for her Facebook page or blog for more encouragement. I am so happy to hear this! xoxo

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