There’s something magical about the manger scene. Every year I love to watch The Nativity Story because it brings the Bible tale of Mary, Joseph and the newborn Christ child to life on my living room TV screen.
Yet to make the magic last longer than a two-hour feature film, my family has a tradition of setting up two nativity scenes each year—one on the mantel (my favorite, the Willow Tree collection) and another in the play room (our Little People nativity set, a beloved toy for the past five years). Both of these nativity sets help us focus our hearts on Jesus as we make the scenery of his birth a focal point in our home.
Here are some fun ways to enhance your focus on the nativity this year.
Traveling wise men. Set up your manger scene but place the wise men far away—on the opposite end of the mantel, or even in another room. Each day, move them a bit closer to the stable. By Christmas Day, the wise men have finally arrived to worship the holy child. (Yes, I know according to biblical accuracy the wise men actually showed up two years after Jesus’ birth, but every nativity scene incorporates them so have some fun with it.)
Manger scene activities. I’ve come across some great free printables and nativity crafts online lately. Fellow blogger Sarah at My Joy-Filled Life is offering a free collection of nativity printables for new subscribers to her blog (I subscribed!) including a bingo game, stick puppets, preschool worksheets and more. And thanks to Pinterest I also found this list of 21 free nativity printables from Smart Girls DIY—for crafty moms. (I am not one. God bless you if you are.)
The best gift. When setting up your nativity, leave the baby Jesus out of the scene. Wrap him in a gift box for the kids to open on Christmas Day. Then invite them to complete the nativity with this most beloved central character—our Savior. He is the best gift of all!
How do you make the nativity story a central part of your Christmas season?
This post contains affiliate links.