The Wonder of the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift offers a complete Jesse Tree experience with devotional and ornaments for the whole family to enjoy.

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp. Tyndale House, 2017.

Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-12

Recommended For: Ages 0-10, family read aloud/activity

Based on Unwrapping The Greatest Gift Advent book, published in 2014, The Wonder of the Greatest Gift adds a new, pop-up dimension to the experience. A 13-inch tree “pops up” from the base; each day’s devotional has a tiny, paper ornament to hang on the tree. These little ornaments may not hold up longterm, especially if they are handled by many little fingers. However, for families who do not have time to make sturdier ones, or who do not have the money to purchase others, this is a good fit. When opened, the base is quite large, so be prepared with enough space! A small booklet is included that takes families on a day-by-day Advent journey using the Jesse Tree.

Families who already have Unwrapping the Greatest Gift will not find much new information or text in this new version, but the pop-up dynamic and tiny ornaments are nice, tangible reminders of the devotional content. If you don’t already have the first book, this is a nice substitution, particularly if you have young children and/or want to incorporate the Jesse Tree symbolism and narrative into your Advent readings! This would also make a terrific gift to grandchildren or to a local faith-based shelter who would be interested in incorporating this into their routine.

Cautions: none

Overall Rating: 4.75

  • Worldview Rating: 5
  • Artistic Rating: 4.5


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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.


  1. Keziah on December 21, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    We are reading through the advent booklet and have the little ornaments. It is good! However I am at a loss about some of the ornament pictures. Is there an explanation? For example why is there a shell for John the Baptist on the 21st?

    • Betsy on December 22, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      We wondered the same thing, Keziah! It ties in with the illustration in the book somewhat, but there’s no real explanation…

    • Sandra Woodbury on November 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      I research this and in ancient times a scallop shell was the symbol for eternal life. They used a shell to carry or drink water. Water was a symbol of life and especially with Christ. Thus the Jesse Tree legacy uses the scallop shell to symbolize the eternal life of baptism.

      • Betsy on November 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm

        That is so interesting, Sandra!

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