By Leslie Lindsay
‘Tis the season when Christian families start looking forward to the fun and festivities surrounding the birth of Jesus. Of course, children get very excited about the celebration to come (hey, I once passed out and had to spend a portion of Christmas Eve in the ER; I was fine just over-stimulated and dehydrated). But really, do the kids in our lives understand why Christmas is such an exciting celebration?
Meet, Theresa the 10 year old author of THE COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS: The Jesse Tree Tradition. Theresa comes from a big family–seven in all, including mom and dad. But Jesus came from a big family as well. Every year, Theresa’s family celebrates the Jesse Tree tradition, here’s why:
“First, the Jesse Tree is a small Christmas tree with paper ornaments on it. Each ornament has a picture of a different person from the Bible. The ornaments are really pretty, but the reason the Jesse Tree is so important to us is simple. The Jesse Tree is a family tree. It is His family tree, the tree of the Son of God.”
Here’s how it works:
- Beginning on the night of December 1st, gather your family and read a story from the Bible.
- Sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
- Hang a paper ornament on a tree to honor a person in the story. There’s Adam and Eve, Sarah and Noah, and Abraham, David…and a host of others.
But THE COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS: The Jesse Tree Tradition is so much more than that. It’s a beautifully illustrated companion book to your holiday traditions (or the start of a new one!), which includes sturdy punch-out ornaments that can be preserved for seasons to come. Each day, a story is presented telling you exactly what to share with your family. It’s a timeless piece of Biblical history and family tradition all rolled into one. Plus, it’s designed by a 10-year old girl, “I wrote this book because I wanted to share the Jesse Tree tradition with you. It is treasured by my family, and good things like this should be shared. I hope you like it, and I hope you might want to make the Jesse Tree part of your family’s Christmas tradition.”
Check out my interview with Theresa:
Leslie Lindsay: Do you remember when you first had the idea to write COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS, what inspired you?
Theresa Seidltz: I was 10 yrs old and my Dad kept trying to find kids story books for Bible Stories that we were using for our Jesse Tree. I started to write the story for us to use. I would read them in the bible and then write the stories for my Dad to use when we put the ornaments on the tree. One day we started talking and thought,“hey this should be a book.”
L.L.: Did you always want to write a book?
Theresa Seidltz: Yes, I have always loved writing since I was very young. I also love telling stories.
L.L.: What do you want to be when you grow up? What kind of books do you think you would write if you became an author?
Theresa Seidltz: I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up but I know I want to write I especially would like to write fantasy books, but right now I am more focused on comedy related to my family and friends.
L.L.: What was your favorite part about writing this book?
Theresa Seidltz: Looking up the stories because I like finding out what happened to the characters in the bible.
L.L.: What do you think the hardest thing about writing a book is?
Theresa Seidltz: The work!! Putting all your thoughts down on paper. It takes time. It is really hard not to give up.
L.L.: What advice would you give to other kids who want to write books?
Theresa Seidltz: Don’t give up!! Keep at it, it is a lot of work but if you keep going, eventually you will finish.
L.L.: What are some of your favorite books to read during Christmas season? I have so many books I like to read at Christmas time.
Theresa Seidltz: I like the book “The New Advent book of Traditions” that have the stories behind all the things we do in December like Christmas cards and candy canes. I also like a book called “The Donkey’s Dream,” “St Francis and the Christmas Donkey,” and “Merry Christmas Curious George.”
L.L.: Which story is your favorite story in Countdown to Christmas? What is the important message that it shows?
Theresa Seidltz: The Nativity is my favorite story. I think it shows patience because throughout the whole Bible, people are waiting for Jesus to come. They go through a lot of difficult things. Then He finally comes and it is a happy
For more information, or to purchase please see:
- Canter Press, the publisher of THE COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
- Follow Canter Press on Twitter using this hashtag: #countdown2christmas
- Buy on Amazon