A Jesse “Tea” for Advent

by | Dec 1, 2009 | Advent and Christmas, Jesse Tree, Liturgical Teas, Teatime | 11 comments

Ever since our last Tea for Easter, my children have been asking when we could have another Liturgical Tea. The Jesse Tree has been one of our favorite Advent traditions since my children were very small, so when I ran across Alice’s Jesse “Tea” I knew it would be perfect!

Alice suggests having this tea during the last week of Advent, however I decided it would be a fun way to kick-off this Advent season after Mass on the first Sunday of Advent. Really though, you could have it at any time during Advent, or even serve a little something each day of Advent to go along with the ornament and reading for that particular day!

Since our children are now very familiar with all the Old Testament stories, we all sat around the table and, as we got to each menu item, they took turns telling everyone the story it symbolized. It was so great (and at times very funny!) to listen to the stories in their own words…

Here is what was included in the menu:

~ The Jesse “Tea” ~

A couple of us had tea and the rest opted for “Adam’s Apple Cider.”
~ Adam’s Apple ~
A Bowl of Apples with a gummi worm serpent!
“And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat.” Gen. 3: 6

~ Noah’s Ark ~

Alice suggested Celery and Tomato boats, but since most of my children do not care for celery, here is what I came up with:

Animal Crackers 2×2 ~ Deviled Egg Arks ~ Fruit Slice Rainbows

“And God said: This is the sign of the covenant which I give between me and you, and to every living soul that is with you, for perpetual generations. I will set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be the sign of a covenant between me, and between the earth. And when I shall cover the sky with clouds, my bow shall appear in the clouds: And I will remember my covenant with you, and with every living soul that beareth flesh: and there shall no more be waters of a flood to destroy all flesh.And the bow shall be in the clouds, and I shall see it, and shall remember the everlasting covenant, that was made between God and every living soul of all flesh which is upon the earth. And God said to Noe: This shall be the sign of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh upon the earth. ” Gen. 9: 12-17

~ Abraham’s Stars ~

I wasn’t able to find Dora Star Cereal, but I did find some Brach’s Star Candy.
They are SO delicious!
“And he brought him forth abroad, and said to him: Look up to heaven and number the stars, if thou canst. And he said to him: So shall thy seed be.” Gen. 15: 5

~ Isaac’s Bundle of Sticks ~

I used string cheese to tie our little bundles of 8 pretzel sticks together.
“And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son: and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword.” Gen. 22: 6

~ Jacob’s Ladder ~

Using the Isaac’s Bundle of Sticks, each person makes their own ladder.

“And he saw in his sleep a ladder standing upon the earth, and the top thereof touching heaven: the angels also of God ascending and descending by it.” Gen. 28: 12

~ Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors ~

These were very fun, and easy to make, following Alice’s directions.

“Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had him in his old age: and he made him a coat of divers colours. And his brethren seeing that he was loved by his father, more than all his sons, hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.” Gen. 37: 3-4

~ The Burning Bush ~

Broccoli Florets dipped in Thousand Island Dressing

“And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he saw that the bush was on fire and was not burnt. And Moses said: I will go and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” Exodus 3: 2-3

~ Moses’ Tablets of the Law ~

I bought Milano cookies, as recommended by Alice, but added Roman Numerals I-X with chocolate icing. I love how they turned out!

“And after this he said: Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the former, and I will write upon them the words which were in the tables, which thou brokest.” Exodus 34: 1

~ Jonah and the Whale ~
When I saw a box of Whale Crackers I just had to buy them to add to our tea!
“Now the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonas: and Jonas was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. And Jonas prayed to the Lord his God out of the belly of the fish. ” Jonah 2: 1-2

~ The Root of Jesse ~

Baby Carrots since they are a “Root” Vegetable

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.” and “In that day the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11: 1 and 10

~ David’s Star Tea Sandwiches ~
I just used two different sized Star Cookie Cutters to cut one star out of bread and a slightly smaller star out of cheese.
1 Samuel 17: 12-51

~ Bethlehem, House of Bread ~
A Basket of Rolls
“But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel” Matthew 2: 5-6

~ John the Baptist’s Honey ~
I ordered a box of Honey Stix from Amazon for about $14.00, not realizing I would be receiving 384 of them (instead of 48)! What a deal!! Good thing my children liked them…
“And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb.” Luke 1: 41
“For this is he that was spoken of by Isaias the prophet, saying: A voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Matthew 3: 3

~ Angelic Messengers ~

I didn’t have any luck finding the cookies Alice Suggested, but there are lots of Angel candies to be found this time of year. I purchased a little package of Lindt Angels for this tea.
“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. ” Luke 1:26-28
~ Flowers of Jesse ~
I thought about making Rose Cupcakes, but I (at 9 months pregnant) had already been on my feet long enough so I opted for Pepperidge Farms Verona Cookies which look like flowers.
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears. ” Isaiah 11:1-3

Be sure to visit Cottage Blessings for more ideas, recipes and the shopping list!


  1. Anonymous

    Wow! This is just beyound imagination….just beautiful and so well done Jessica! I am learning so much from all that you share…….and it will be carried forward to another generation! God Bless You! You are in my prayers for a healthy delivery! Blessings ! PJ

  2. Jamie Jo

    OK, I mean Okay…I really like your ideas, they seem easier for some reason. I DO have one question…we only usually allow one dessert item, and the menu seems to have lots of sweets, so tell us how you do that?

    I am going to do this this year, following your examples, thank you so much!

  3. Jessica Gordon

    Yes… I guess there are alot of sweets in this tea, though I did limit the quantities, and gave my children more of the deviled eggs, sandwiches, carrots, broccoli, and apples.

    As for the sweets they each got:
    1 small gummi worm
    1/2 of a rainbow (about 3-4 jelly fruit slices)
    2 chocolate stars (these are pretty small)
    1 Ten Commandment Cookie (half of the 10 commandments)
    1 Flower Cookie
    and 1 chocolate angel (I only had 5 of these so Snuggles & I did not have one.)

    It does seem like a LOT all listed out, but it really wasn't too much.

    To cut it back even more, the rainbows could easily be eliminated (I just thought they looked really neat) and I am sure you could come up with something else for the stars. (Alice suggests Dora Star Cereal, I just wasn't able to find it.)

  4. Lacy @ Catholic Icing

    This is sooo adorable! I actually just ran across the other Jesse Tea and featured it on my blog a few days ago. You did such a good job with it! I'm thinking you would be a really cool person to know in real life 😉

  5. Sarah

    Jessica, this is AMAZING!! Who'd thought that you were NINE MONTHS PREGNANT and planning all of this!

    Now, go take a nap for goodness sake1

    Seriously though, I love this idea, I love the creativity you have in sharing our faith with your children and I love your energy and spirit. What an inspiration!


  6. Anonymous

    Oh Jessica!!! This is so lovely!

  7. Aimee Landreneau

    I think we'll do this on Christmas Eve for a fun lunch…if you can't totally junk out at the holidays, when can you? They'll love this! And I agree, you make it look so simple!

  8. Rachel

    Wow, wow, wow. You always amaze me and have such an amazing blog. I am always so inspired by your ideas and creativity. I love doing the "teas" now since reading your site and Alice's and my boys are in love with them too. We also do a Jesse Tree and this is going to be a highlight of Advent for the kids. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Shelly

    you really do inspire, my dear! your table looks so beautiful!!!

  10. Anonymous

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


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