Hello there lovely GraceLaced readers! My name is Heather from Life Made Lovely and I'm excited to share a new tradition my family and I have begun just this year. During Advent we do all kinds of things to share God's light with others, but for me that's only a small portion of the season. I want my kids to connect to Jesus so that they can embrace the light He placed inside of them. I want my kids to feel bonded to Jesus in a way that is real and tangible to them. One way I'm trying to nurture that relationship is through our new nativity scene tradition. You see, I've been struggling for years to find a nativity scene that was special enough, and then I happened upon an empty wooden stable in the dollar bins of Target. Perfect!! I decided then and there that we would create our own. I found the other supplies i needed on Etsy....
I tried to find wooden sheep, but didn't have any luck, so I focused on Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the three wise men and a host of angels. Maybe next year we'll be able to add a shepard and some sheep to the set. Since the wooden dolls are sold in sets, are very reasonably priced ($2-$3 a set), and quite easy to find, my plan is to paint a new set for our $1 stable each year. Because my kids are small we worked on the project over a few different days. That allowed us to work just long enough for the kids to stay interested and gave me the opportunity to talk to them about Jesus' birth multiple times. While we painted I asked questions like..."Hmm, do you think Mary and Joseph were scared when the angels appeared? Or what about the wise men? How do you think they felt when the angels appeared to tell them about Jesus' birth?" They have such curious minds that they took the conversation over from there, sharing what they thought and asking me questions as they came up. It made the whole experience very interactive!
My two year old daughter was given the job of painting the angels and baby Jesus, and it worked out perfectly. I gave her a paper plate with gold paint, white paint, and some soft white glitter paint, then let her go to town. Since everything looks pretty with gold and sparkles, it was a perfect match! Once the paint was completely dry, I hot glued the wings to the gold gowns and the holy host of angels she created were complete.
My son is seven so I let him pick what he wanted to paint- wise men or Mary and Joseph. He chose the three wise men. I love that he chose to paint each one with different colored skin. We added the crowns to their heads by placing dots of gold paint around the crown of their heads. We used the end of the paint brush to create the perfect little dots and my son might have thought that was the coolest part of all. I painted Mary and Joseph and added all the eyes to our people with a fine tipped marker.
I'm a big fan of displaying my kids artwork around the house, but I have to tell you something...this takes it to whole new level for me. I think it's because of the time we spent creating it together. Being able to watch my kids relationship with Christ grow, right before my very own eyes, is something that I consider to be such a gift. It warms my heart beyond anything else.
This is new tradition is something that I will now look forward to each year. I'm already excited to see how it will grow and change as my children get older. I love that I'll get to watch their faith bloom through this simple little activity and I hope it becomes something they treasure the memories of. Thanks for letting me participate in this series with you and Annalea, Ruth. Wishing you and yours the merriest of Christmas'! -xo Heather
Thanks for being my guest, Heather! Your heart and your creativity is always inspiring!
Please vist Heather at Life Made Lovely!