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A couple weeks ago I saw the word Christmas differently than I had before. Christmás. Más meaning “more” in Spanish. More Christ. I realize that’s something my bilingual brain made up, but it felt so timely. This year, more than ever, we need MORE Christ in Christmas.
So while this blog is for people of all faiths and families of all belief systems, over the next weeks, I will be sharing a few posts for my Christian friends who would like to join us in celebrating Christmás.
One of the simplest ways to make the birth of Jesus Christ a tangible part of Christmas celebrations is with nativity sets. There is a wide variety available, and many people collect beautiful nativities from around the world. Those that have been most precious to me, however, are the ones my little children can handle with no fear. That they can play with, and learn from.
Our favorite is the classic set by Little People. Our collection has grown over the years, and my kids are always drawn to it. In fact, my children play with it year round, but I always make sure it’s out and accessible during the Christmas Season. There are a few sets available on Amazon from very simple to more complete sets that include additional characters. We have had and loved both styles.
When we were first married and having children, I didn’t feel like we could afford the Little People set, but I wanted my oldest, who was a toddler, to have a nativity set she could play with. I spent a few dollars at the craft store and bought these spools and large wooden beads. A bit of hot glue, some fabric scraps and a sharpie, and it’s been the sweetest, most simple little nativity that all my children have played with, and we’ve cherished over the years. I have seen tutorials for much more elaborate versions that include more characters, but I kind of love the simplicity of ours. At any rate, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to create something perfect for little hands. Also, hot glue comes in handy when little hands get too rough. We’ve put these back together many times, very easily.
Last year, my son received a sweet, plush Baby Jesus doll from his teachers at church. (I miss when my kids had teachers at church!) His baby sister loved it, and he generously handed it over. It has been a sweet treasure that has been loved on, snuggled, and had some of our baby’s first words “Bebe Jesus” bestowed upon it.
This year, our family will be delivering pieces of a wooden nativity set as 12 Days of Christmas gifts to another family. This set from jackzeeplace.com is a gem, and could be a beautiful set for kids to play with at home or to give away to another family. It’s simple, beautiful, and sturdy enough for even the most excitable little ones to handle. And with the code FEARLESS, you can get 20% off right now! (Order before December 10 for shipping in time for the 12 days of Christmas).
I hope you can find or create the perfect “please-touch” nativity for your family! It’s certainly one of the easiest ways to emphasize Christ in Christmas for small children!