Every Christmas season, I like to incorporate one new tradition. Last year, we started the Shepherd Pouches. The year before, we started the Jesse Tree. The year before that, we started making birthday cake for Jesus to eat on Christmas morning. We also made an edible Nativity last year too, that we will do again. This year, we are going to start the 12 days of Nativity (for your neighbor!)
I found online a Dollhouse Miniature 12 Piece Handpainted Nativity Set from Amazon. Now keep in mind, I have three children, which means 3 nativities to give out, so I needed inexpensive, like $11 each inexpensive. This set is also teeny tiny, so not good for little children. I really wanted a 12 piece set too, so I could incorporate the theme of the 12 days of Christmas. :-)
Each piece is wrapped or put in gift bags, and a tag is attached. Each of my kids get to pick a special friend in the neighborhood who they will deliver one piece a day for 12 days on their doorstep. The gift doesn’t say who it’s from, so each of my kid’s friends are going to open their front door each day from December 1-12 and find a small gift waiting for them and wonder who it’s from! So fun, right? On day 12, my child will deliver baby Jesus, (and reveal their hidden identity!) Christmas fun (think secret Santa), and sharing the Gospel?!? Yes please! :-) Here is what I’m writing on each tag (which I adapted from Noel Piper’s Advent Calendar story):
(bolded word corresponds with the nativity piece)
Day 1: Long ago, God made a promise about a little town named Bethlehem. Jesus is the King that God promised to send. In Bethlehem there was a place called a stable. In the stable there was a manger, filled with hay for the animals to eat. There were animals like a COW…
Day 2: …and a DONKEY.
Day 3: One day the animals had a big surprise. A woman came to stay in the stable. That was because the emperor commanded everyone to go to their hometowns and sign up for paying taxes. Little Bethlehem was filled with people, so there was no other place for the woman to stay. Her name was MARY, and she was glad to rest in the stable with the animals, because she was going to have a baby—very soon!
Day 4: Her husband, JOSEPH, was with her. Before they traveled to Bethlehem, an angel of God talked to him in a dream. The angel said, “This baby is from God. You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” This baby was the king God had promised.
Day 5: Out in the fields near Bethlehem, there was a SHEPHERD . . .
Day 6: . . . taking care of his SHEEP.
Day 7: In the sky, there was a very special star. Far away, a WISE MAN saw the star and said, “This is the sign that a special king has been born I must find him and worship him. I’ll bring him a royal gift of gold.”
Day 8: So he got his CAMEL ready to travel . . .
Day 9: . . . and he brought along another WISE MAN who had a gift of rich perfume, called frankincense, for the king.
Day 10: And another WISE MAN wanted to go with them too. So he brought a gift of precious oil, called myrrh, to give to the king.
Day 11: One night, an ANGEL of the Lord appeared to the shepherds. They were filled with fear. But the angel said, “Fear not. I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly, there was a multitude of angels saying, “Glory to God!”
Day 12: And the shepherds went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the BABY JESUS lying in the manger.
When Jesus grew up, he died and rose from the dead to save us from our sins. He is our greatest Treasure!
My kids can’t wait to deliver the gifts in December!
|Ella’s 12 gifts for her friend ready to go!|