Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to teach your kids the spiritual meaning of Christmas - Nativity Scenes. 31 days of Christmas Wonder (day 28)

As parents we wanted Christmas for our daughters to be fun and memorable. We wanted to include in our traditions and fun . . . our spiritual heritage.

As followers of Christ, it was our desire to teach our girls the historical and Biblical accounts of Jesus Christs' birth. I found three really great and easy ways to do this. Today, I will share the first one with you.

Collect nativity scenes.

We collected two types of nativity scenes.

          1. In our travels around the world we
          were always on the look out for nativity
          scenes. These were more of the folk style
          that represented the country we were 
          visiting. I personally, prefer small things,
          so I collected 6 - 8 inch versions. These 
          were on display in our home . . . but not
          for little fingers to touch.

                  2. My second collection (which was so fun) was
         any nativity scene I could find that was
         not fragile. The girls spent many hours
         playing with them. We welcomed little fingers.

         Let me tell you about a few of our favorites:
         (sorry, I cannot show you pictures, remember, the break in.)

                    *I made a felt banner. All the nativity
                 characters, including the animals were
                 made of felt and were finger puppets.
                 (my creative friend, Rainy, designed this) The finger
                 puppets also stuck to the felt banner.

               *Remember the Lillian Vernon catalog?
                 I ordered a tiny wooden nativity, that
                 brought hours of fun.

               *My sister found a cool set at the fair.
                 All the pieces were cut out of plain
                 wood. Nothing was painted.

               *Paper nativities do not last as long, but 
                 are so fun. The one we had was from 
                 Lion Press, and we bought it in Scotland.
                 Last year, when I was replacing 
                 everything, I found The Christmas 
                 Manger , by H A Rey. (yup, the author of
                      Curious George.) Super cool.

I also have a collection of nativity ornaments (which were not stolen). And a collection of nativity books. Yes, nativity scenes were a big part of our fun. I guess that is I love Kate's picture so much.

You can start or add to your collection, by ordering this adorable card and framing it. You can see Kate's new website and some of her Christmas collection at Enjoy.

image credit:The Christmas Manger        


  1. Love your stories, Glenda. When our boys were little, Good Housekeeping magazine had the patterns for a fabric nativity set. I made several of the Biblical characters, the camels, a sheep, etc. I then made the stable out of balsa wood and straw for the floor. I never did get it all done. I was always going to add a character each year, but that didn't happen. I still have it, so maybe I should finish it for the grandchildren! The best part is, the kids could always play with it.

  2. My favorite decor of Christmas....

  3. I have one from Avon that I bought years ago. About 2 years ago, I found a small glass set at a thrift store. It's nothing fancy yet so beautiful. I would love to find one that the Grands can touch and not destroy.


  4. Except for the children, we are alike, Glenda, in our use of Nativity sets at Christmas. I have many and set them all around the house, and usually on Thanksgiving weekend. That's when the XM Christmas radio stations are played, almost always while I'm awake, from T-day to whenever they stop playing Christmas music.
    What a delight!

  5. We love nativity sets, too. I'm going to have to check out that H.A. Rey punch out set. My four year old would love it. When my oldest was about 2 years old we were given a plastic Little People nativity set and every night of Advent we acted out the Christmas story starting in Genesis when God promised to send a special baby who would grow up to be the Serpent Crusher! It's been such a joy and treasure to see our boys get excited about this hero who would save the world from the curse of sin. And their re-tellings of the story are often hilarious!

  6. These are great ideas for Christmas and teaches children what it really is about. Now I'm wondering if your girls collect them.

  7. I am working on a linen nativity set based on the images in the latest issue of life:Beautiful. :-)

  8. I started a nativity collection
    for my Goddaughter a few years
    ago. It is made by Fontanini, an
    Italian company and is hand painted
    resin, so the figures can be played
    with! My grandma, Mie-Mie, started
    my nativity when I was a newlywed.
    It is white porcelain, from Avon. I
    think of her every year, when I bring
    it out! I love the H.A. Rey book and
    think I will get one for my four year
    old niece. Thanks for the inspiration!
    xx Suzanne

  9. My living room is all Nativity -- tree, everything. I put the fragile ornaments on top and the "touchable" ones down where my grandchildren can touch, explore and discuss all the facets of the Christmas story. I treasure the conversations I've shared about the tiny baby who came because of His Father's great love of each of us.

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