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Thursday, January 5, 2012
Jesse Tree Pressure!!
In some ways I am sad about what I am about to divulge but frankly I wonder how many more families struggle with this beautiful, but for me pressure filled tradition. In fact I have struggled with the concept of sharing what I see as my own failure in this area of Liturgical living within our family.
Each Advent I start with renewed expectations and hopes about the advantages of the Jesse Tree Tradition.
We get out both our Jesse Tree countdowns and start the readings for each day placing the appropriate ornament on each tree and then we come into the reality of our life.
I am not sure why it happens this way but perhaps it is our family circle at the moment and the fact we have so many feast days during Advent that take our attention of the Jesse Tree BUT we seem to constantly find that we miss a day - or two, or (shamefully) more and start the 'catch up game' of reading more than one reading at a time.
Sadly I then lose the inspiration and over the last few years we have not completed all the readings.
In fact if you look at both our Jesse Trees in this post you will see we did not finish again this year.
Granted we had some additional guests arrive, even though they were welcome and we enjoyed their company, the preparation for this consumed us also. I have also seem a pattern when looking back on past calendars that for what ever reason we seem to have significantly more appointments and outside activities than for other times of the year. In addition it is Summer here in Australia and this in itself adds new and different dimensions to our daily life as opposed to Advent and Christmas being in Winter like in the Northern Hemisphere.
You know, obviously that is what all good Christian parents do with their children in the lead up to Christmas. It is a worthwhile and educationally rewarding activity to share with our children and so in my mind I do want to give our children the best we can offer. Yet each year I find myself sadly lacking and feeling guilty over this lack of apparent education.
I wonder to myself -
Do other families experience this obligation to do the Jesse Tree or is it just me?
Does anyone feel the pressure to attempt this each year?
Do other families finish it and feel great joy and fulfilment in learning more in preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus?
Are we missing so much in our inability to do this?
Or is it just us and our family that have some difficulty with this very worthwhile Advent activity?
So I am looking forward to some input on your own experiences with the Jesse Tree in your own homes during the Advent season, either positive or negative.
I really would like to know!!
Blessings to you and your homes,