Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Kid Meets Nativity Set

 Christmas 2008

Tis the season for nativity sets.  I lovingly unwrap Mary and baby Jesus every year.  The sheep.  The shepherds.   There they sit.  Holy.  Beautiful.  Lovely.

cue: record scratch

Unless you have kids in the house.  Especially if you have boy kids in the house.

The things poor baby Jesus has been through in this family in years past are truly embarrassing.

I have found him in couch cushions.

In the back of dump trucks.

In the driveway.

I've had to bust up tiffs between siblings when baby Jesus was brought into their super hero battles.  It's just not fair that baby Jesus wins every single time.  Baby Jesus as an action figure is unstoppable.

I have found all the hallowed nativity people hanging with yarn on our Christmas tree. It was disturbing.

I have also picked Lego men out of the nativity scene.

"This is the last time I am going to tell you to stop throwing the baby Jesus.  Last time, Mister!"

"Do not hit your brother with Mary."

"Get that shepherd's foot out of your nose."

"What's in your underwear?"  Oh.  All the wise men.  Good.  Good.

This famous cast of characters have been loaded in a big rig.


This was the nativity set where all the men looked like they worked at a carnival, and I'm almost positive baby Jesus was a four year old wrapped in a swim towel.  Creepy.  Look at him.  He's in the top far right.  He has molars and as much hair as Justin Bieber.

Then there was the year that one of our kids kept breastfeeding the baby Jesus.  These are the things you don't bring up in Sunday School.

It's tempting to turn this story of a baby born to a teenage mother in a manger into something untouchable, off-limits-kind-of-holy, something we fancy up, get dressed up to tell, reading the Christmas scriptures in a strange, hushed, church voice.  How many times have we been to a candle-light service, heard this story of a first-time, young mother giving birth without a midwife or her mother, in filthy conditions, and imagined something more pristine, more perfect, more glamorous than what really went down that night in Bethlehem.  Rarely do I equate Christmas with sweat, screaming, blood, feces, an umbilical chord that needs cutting, a placenta, and exhausting pain.  Yet that is exactly what the first Christmas must have been like.

When I'm tempted to make this story something other than it is, I try to remember that my child is probably dipping Mary in the toilet or nursing the baby Jesus as I type this.

Children know how to approach the manger.  They have a way of taking all the frill, the fake, the phoney reverence out of the Christmas story, and maybe we should thank them for that.  They see Jesus as approachable, someone who would want to hang out with them, someone who would welcome the Darth Vader Lego guy.

The truth is, the story of a King born a baby in a barn is not something we need our best clothes on to hear, or something we need to put on the highest, unreachable shelf.  Yes this story is precious and requires reverence and awe when we really sit and contemplate all that God has done to win back rebellious people.  But, I never want to forget that He came to our filth.  Our dysfunction.  He was born right into our complex, broken lives.  Emmanuel.  God with us.  God with the distracted.  The greedy.  The back-talking children.  The moms who fall asleep at night wondering if they could possibly fail more.  God with the ones with secrets.  The ones who feel left out.  The ones who think they will never measure up.  The ones with failing marriages.  The insecure.  The mean.  The ones who never seem to learn.  He came here.  He was born in the middle of our junk.  He came to be God with us.  God in the middle of our homes.  The middle of our living rooms.  Right in the middle of the madness and mess...He came.  Emmanuel.  God with humans who are so utterly...hopelessly...human.  He was born to a teenage mother who probably would have forgotten to take her prenatal vitamins. 

So let's hear them.  Your favorite nativity set stories.  Will you share those with us?

Will you share something else too?  I'm wanting to know your favorite kid-friendly nativity sets.

If I can get over my obsessive need for all the nativity crew to stay in the same room together, I will probably learn some great lessons this Christmas season from our children and the nativity set.  I'm going to pay extra close attention because I think these little people are onto something.  Maybe they relate best to what actually took place that night with Mary and Joseph.  Perhaps we're the ones perpetually jacking this story up.

Related:  When Baby Jesus is a Pepperoni 

67 comments:

Kirby said...

Ha! They DO look like they work at the carnival! I've never known what to call this one...we have the "Little People" nativity, the "Veggie Tale Nativity, and the "ugly people"..."The Carnies" sound much better...at least to 3 year old ears.

Megan said...

Well...this is the first year that I've been brazen enough to let me crew play with a set.

Last year, every family that visited a certain megachurch in Dallas received a beautiful kid-friendly nativity set. There were a LOT of people there that day. (Including me) Anyway, I remember saying something snarky similar to "Well, maybe if this church gave all the money they spent on these nativity sets to missions, we could end world hunger."

Well, that nativity set has been PRICELESS this year. I've let them play with it endlessly.

I am still completely obsessive about all the players being returned to their positions (you know, Mary and Joseph, looking lovingly at the Christ child, Wise men on camels just outside the stable) but, I've let them play!

Most common nativity strangeness? Mary always ends up naked. Why?

Karen said...

Heather, your writing warms my heart and it makes me laugh. I want you to know how much I appreciate you.

My nativity set is about 35 yrs. old. It is ceramic. When my daughter was young (about 30 yrs ago), she would lie on her belly and look at the set. Eventually, her little hands had to touch, and she ended up breaking the cow into about 10 pieces. She was devastated. Together, we super-glued Mr. Cow back together,although not perfectly, and he returned to his place beside the other animals. Today, I still have the nativity and the super-glued cow. Thank you for bringing back this lovely memory to me. My nativity lives in the garage attic, I'm thinking maybe it should make an appearance this year, my grandbabies would love it. See what you do???

keight dukes said...

i cant even stand the awesomeness of this post. so glad we're friends. we have a fisher price nativity that is kid friendly and not too full of itself. the wise men dutifully represent different and far-flung ethnicities, while the holy fam is aryan as usual. i do obsess about all the characters returning to their positions, though. with layla on the move this year, i predict at least one prop will be found in her diaper...possible ensconced in excrement.

mandi said...

Playmobile nativity!!!

Sandy said...

One of our friends from church posted on facebook about how they put their Little People Nativity set out and how her 2 year old had been carrying baby Jesus around everywhere. She went up to her daddy and told him that baby Jesus was in time out for being naughty. Nicole said they would need to clarify....somebody responded "WDJD".

Daughter of the King said...

I literally laughed outloud...and i'm at work! I was the little child completely obsessed with the nativity being set up just perfect so I don't remember crazy stories.

My favorite natvity was the gingerbread nativity my mom helped us make one year! we had this whole set thing that helped us make it and used coconut for hay and made the stable too. That was pretty awesome.

Meg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana said...

The worst thing that happened to my set was my fault, not the kids. (I haven't acquired my non-breakable set yet). I was moving the baby's exersaucer into another room when I hit the cabinet the set was on top of. Joseph broke in half and the shepherd lost his arm. This was a Willow Tree Nativity and I still haven't gotten around to gluing them back together.

dkshort said...

We have the "Little People" nativity set. So fun! The kids love it. Our 3 year ended up putting Angel Gabriel in time out. According to Micah Gabriel was disobeying..
ha!

Anne-Marie said...

Love this!
Last year my son combined all our nativity sets, positioned them around the stable, and then added a bunch of dragons-- apparently they are faster than camels.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Favorite. Ever.

Also, this: "Baby Jesus as an action figure is unstoppable."

Also also, were you reading my mind about the failing mother falling asleep? I almost sent you a desperate midnight text. Apparently you got it.

Whosyergurl said...

Came over for a visit from Flower Patch Farm Girl's recommendation. I knew she wouldn't steer me wrong. This is the best ever! Love this post. You are such a smart mama. God knew what he was doing when he gave you those boys to wrangle.
xo, Cheryl

Jana said...

We almost had a knock-out drag-out fight over the wise men being at the manger. Our oldest was playing with the set and our middle had just had a conversation with his teacher about the wise men coming to the house, not the manger.

Most of last Christmas season Gabriel was carried around by our two year old in his mouth.

Bob & Judy said...

Nativity scenes are a big deal in public places in Mexico. The foundation is always Spanish moss. Spanish moss is big business this month.

Our bank has a huge, beautiful terra cotta set that they display in December. Usually there are avocados strewn around on the floor.

Mexican nativities almost always include chickens and pigs (Kosher - no) and, the creepiest part - the devil.

But Baby Jesus doesn't make an appearance until Christmas Eve.

And my perfect children always loved and respected the nativity sets in their home. Right.

E said...

Thanks for the laugh! Stopping by from FPFG...let's just say at our house our nativities have always been to-be-played-with kinds of sets (no matter if they weren't really). And that baby Jesus has gotten into all sorts of places. He took swimming lessons one year...and he already knew how to float. One of our wise guys from the "good set" lost his head due to puppy teething. We still put him out every year and he's known as "the headless wise guy". It's the memories invested in the who shebang that get us all.

Michaela@Life With the Crazies said...

We have the "Little People" nativity set, and all of my kids love playing with it (my youngest is currently chewing on a shepherd as I type this)... My son always took baths with the Baby Jesus.

nic said...

i adore this: 'They see Jesus as approachable, someone who would want to hang out with them, someone who would welcome the Darth Vader Lego guy.'

every single year i have our cast of five help me unpack our nativity set, and every single year they elbow and bicker over who unwraps what (bj and the angel win Most Popular, hands-down) and where each figure should sit in the chintzy metal stable. every single year.

luckily, Jesus has weathered worse and adores us still. Emmanuel.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I don't usually comment, but I just got my new nativity set out and I love it so much! Its the clay figure one shown here: http://markethaiti.com/nativity.html. I don't have kids yet, but they could totally play with this one! As it is, I move them around all the time to try and find the best configuration. Thanks for giving me an outlet, I've been dying to tell someone about my awesome nativity! :)

Shelbey

The Frat Pack + Me said...

I am here via FPFG....she was right! this post is fantastic. I tend to not bring out baby Jesus until Christmas Day....

Elizabeth said...

Love this post! I agree that kids just seem to get how approachable and real th Christ child was (or is?). I have also found our nativity set in many compromising situations. I was given a Fontanini set as a gift one year. It has held up surprisingly well. It's kinda pricey so we only own the central cast :)

Sarah said...

The first Christmas I spent in Haiti I was working at an orphanage. There was a large creche set up in the corner that the children were not allowed to touch. But they would spend a lot of time looking longingly and pointing at that corner...spinning wild tales about the cast of characters. One morning I came in and noticed that Mary was sporting a headband with two sparkly red pinwheels on it. No idea where it came from, or which child ventured into the corner to adorn her with this rare and priceless gift...but she stayed that way through Christmas. And every time I saw her, I smiled. :)

Zoanna said...

OH, my goodness. Hilarious! That truck loaded with the Justin Bieber-haired Jesus.

We have an Avon nativity set. Love it cuz it's rubber and virtually indestructible except for a wise man who lost his vial frankincense. The dog ate it.

The pieces scattered throughout the house is akin to "going into the all the world" perhaps? LOL

Lori said...

Actually I, now a grandma, have learned some of the amazing lessons you wrote of. My precious moments resin nativity sets out all year long on wood wagon turnded coffee table. It is played with through each season of the year by lots of little and big hands. I am always surprised at the many number of ways the shephers can line up and who ends up in the stable and where the sheep all are hanging out. I am so thankful that it is an element of wonder in your house and the delightful way you shared it.

Anonymous said...

heather - What a BEAUTIFUL post - thank you for the sweet reminders of Christmas, and the truth of Emmanuel God with us! It was the perfect reminder today - brought peace to my soul.

Half way through this post i'm laughing, pondering, and praising all at the same time! I think you need to write a book.

I do have a funny story... I recently started working at a Christian bookstore here in Nashville... Last week a lady came to the store and returned her nativity set (which ironically was a kid-friendly nativity set). Why you ask did she return it?

Because baby Jesus was a choking hazzard to her grandbaby!

I laughed so hard after that return was completed. Never thought you'd hear that one. Baby Jesus is a choking hazzard! :)

Blessings to you and your family. Merry Christmas!

Stephanie

Sarah Kuhner said...

Loved your post. You always bring a smile to my face with your sweet honesty.

We have the Willow Tree Nativity which I used to let my nieces play with until the wise man lost his head, Joseph his staff and several animals their ears. Now I have a Little people nativity set for my two little girls. They love it. It plays Away in the Manger and they sing praise songs to baby Jesus when it is on. Love that!!

Today all the figures (including baby Jesus) were being catapolted by my husband across the living room. The girls ran giggling all over the room trying to catch them.

Sumel said...

Loved the gang riding on the semi. My boys never thought of that. In our house, the stable sat in the living room with just the animals. ( Usually supplemented with the Fisher Price Farm animals. One year there was a huge discussion about excluding the pig. Oldest child insisted since Jesus was going to make all things clean, the pig should stay. But I digress) Mary and Joseph would start on one end of the house, and the wise men would start on the other. Each day throughout Advent, Mary and Joseph would get closer. (Wise men didn't get there until Epiphany, so it took longer). One year, we don't know what happened. Mary and Joseph got lost. Couldn't find them anywhere. It was the 23rd and they were definitely behind schedule. So my sons substituted action figures...John Smith and Pocahantas. Since it took me a few years to find non breakable replacements, John and Pocahantas continuned their understudy roles for quite a while...

Ursula said...

Every year for Christmas my husband gets me a "fair trade" nativity made from a new country.

This year I let my 4 year old set them up.

All of the people, in every nativity, are huddled around Jesus. You can't see there faces b/c of the huddle. At first I was going to "fix this." Since it's become a daily reminder about which way I'm facing this Christmas.

Jordana said...

I gotta tell you....I follow your posts a TON, but this one had me laughing so hard my husband was wondering what I was doing....all I could snort out was..."Wise Men in the Underwear. Good. Good."

You are amazing and so inspiring. Know that all us moms are with you in spirit, next time you have to take a shepherd away from the dog or something. :)

Singing Pilgrim said...

I'm not yet a mom, so I only have stories from when I was a girl. I broke the angel (she hung on the manger as the one who announced to the shepherds). I don't remember who broke one of the wisemen or the cow, but I know they broke too. But I never remember playing with them much. But we were girls, and they were also ceramic (I think Mom did keep them on a high shelf). It was more just holding and touching than Jesus as a superhero stuff.

I bought one for myself when I was in high school, for my future home... and I've since lost the baby Jesus. No idea where he is! I set it up in my dorm room though, so I guess I got my use out of it.

Like someone mentioned before, Jesus wasn't put in the nativity until Christmas day. And for us, the wisemen always started the journey on the otherside of the room or house and would move a little closer each of the 12 days of Christmas until they arrived at the nativity on Epiphany (January 6th).

I'm wondering now if I'll bring my nativity set, if I can find Jesus, to India when I go... or if maybe that'll be one more thing to give away or sell?

Claire said...

Heather. I just have two words for you.....screen play!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

PS - I love Nic's "bj". She's my homegirl. You would dig her. (maybe you already do?)

But that's not really why I'm here: Our nativ. is WOODEN. And it's from Ten Thousand Villages. Are you proud? Say you are.

bye.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

One more thing: My wooden BabyJ has a mullet.

I'm done now.

Melda said...

My mom got this set for Michael when he was little.

http://www.amazon.com/Inch-Fontanini-Holy-Family-71811/dp/B001GRRE6E

They look "real" but they aren't breakable.

It makes everyone happy!

The baby Jesus is naked, except for a cloth across his front - but if you pick him up - you can see his butt.

One year as we tried to tell about each character in the Christmas story and pass around the figures, one of the boys declared, "This baby needs a pull-up!"

yeah....we laughed.
The "Holiness" was gone....

This company, Fontanini (Italian something that I always have to google so I don't spell it wrong)
makes all different sizes from table top to life size...
so if you (or anyone reading) orders or requests them as Christmas gifts....make sure you get your "inches" right. No one wants a Goliath wise man showing up to the manger!

jamie said...

My boys (I have 4, too) wondered why I was chortling at the computer, so I made the mistake of reading most of the first half of your post to them. Not 2 minutes later a couple of them were stripped to their undies, re-enacting the antics of your boys. :)
Just today the 7-year-old said authoritatively to the 5-year-old, "The angel is a HE, not a she. His name is Harold."
Harold's head is currently hanging on by a tiny bit of superglue... looks like I need to fix him again this year.

Natasha said...

My favorite nativity set story occurred almost a decade ago now. My mom's church decided they wanted to do a living nativity. Outside. In the snow.

It was truly lovely. All the animals were present, holiday carols were sung by candlelight... then a few of the sheep decided to go for an evening stroll...

The evening ended with several young shepherdesses (wearing bright pink plastic winter books) ran around in circles screaming while trying to corral the sheep.

Mrs. K said...

I came over from Flower Patch Girl too. My boys have two sets they can play with, Playmobil and VeggieTales. Last year when it came time to put them away, baby Jesus was missing from the Playmobil set. Sometime over the course of the year I found him and put him right where I knew he would be come Christmastime. So Sunday when we got all the decor out and the boys noticed he was still missing I responded "Oh, baby Jesus is in the junk drawer" Nice.

Loved this post.

Lorraine R. said...

Flowerpatch Farmgirl sent me. This is a great post...I laughed out loud and then had to share with my hubby who questioned my lol!!! You are sweet...looking forward to digging around and learning more about you, your family and your heart for Jesus!!

MissPam said...

When my husband of 32 years and I were newlyweds, we were in a small group with another young couple. The wife told a story from her childhood. One year she wanted a certain doll. Her parents were poor. The doll expensive.
But a box of approximately the correct size appeared under the tree. She was sure it was THE doll. It was not. It was a beautiful handcrafted nativity set. Lovingly made by her parents. She was a bit sad back then. But this was the first year of marriage and she had opened her nativity and placed it on their first mantel. It meant a bit more. I was so JEALOUS! I wanted my own ding dang nativity! As our marriage continued we had four girls of our own. All are grown now. Each with a beautiful nativity from childhood in their homes.

Ellen said...

I absolutely love nativities and have them all over the house during the holidays. I was reminded of the year my now 18 yr. old son gathered every animal he could find in the house and set them up surrounding the nativity on our dining room buffet. There were tiny plastic animals, larger stuffed animals, "prehistoric" animals (easier to spell than the world I intended to use. Ha!)an assortment of his favorite animals: whales. He proudly led me into the dining room to see his handiwork and it melted my heart. He was preschool age at the time. I'm now the blessed grandmamma of 9 and 2 more on the way. My Fisher Price Nativity will make its home on the coffee table, within reach of my grandbabies.

triplehmoms said...

We have several different nativity sets around the house. The one that is "available" for kid play is wooden and very simple, one of my favorites! The others are breakable and are kept up higher. With all of the sets, we wrap up baby Jesus in wrapping paper. He still sits with the navitiy scene, but he is opened on Christmas morning, making his debut on his birthday! Ha!
Thanks for the great post!

Sara said...

I am sitting out on a Port au Prince balcony, listening to the school children in the classroom below me sing Christmas carols in French as I read your post...and LAUGHED out loud. Thank you for your adventurous boys and for your honest-creative telling of the their antics. LOVED it!

The craziest nativity tale in my house is wrestling the dog for the donkey...so now we have a three legged one (donkey not dog.) :)

Jessica said...

Great post! so much truth here.

Ellie said...

over from shannan's blog . . .

i love this post :)

we have an "untouchable" nativity set my mom made when i was a child - and another more 'precious moments' looking one that i let the kids play with. it is ceramic but has never been broken at all. we had a playmobil but jesus was always missing because they loved to play with him :) and i got rid of it once he was lost altogether - i mean what is the point without jesus? i'm glad they loved to play with it!!!

i will have to stop by your blog more often!

xo ellie

melody said...

We have four different nativity scenes out now and Rylea has all four in one manger, it is imperative that all the Marys are together, baby Jesus' etc. She almost had a conniption fit when one set did not have a sheep and went to find a sheep from another play set.

My favorite nativity story though is the very elegant almost life size nativity set in the famous Catholic Church in Santa Fe. We went to see the church two years ago (it has a famous staircase I think). Anyway, right next to the baby Jesus amongst the camels and sheep and donkeys....wait for it....a chihuahua! I laughed for a whole week. (though I'm sure in this state that would offend people);)

Small Town Joy: said...

I am sitting here literally ashamed. I have NEVER let my kids play with the Nativity. NEVER. I will be correcting this accordingly.

Thank you for bringing Jesus back.

domestosgoddess said...

Our nativity is wooden, but we lost Joseph about 5 years ago. Don't know where he went, but perhaps he popped out to get disposables?

Nicky B said...

I have the hokiest nativity scene - it was a dollar store gem.....it makes me smile every year.....it's as mismatched as we are....so if one breaks or goes missing...meh....we'll get another odd duck to take his or her place...it will make one or other of the odd ducks at the dinner table feel better. Jesus loves us all.
http://nickybyres.blogspot.com/2011/11/just-few-of-my-favourite-things.html

Scooper said...

Came over from FPFG. This post says it all. I love it. I've been there. I am there right now, in the midst of crazy mess. My nativity set isn't even out yet! This reminds me that Jesus is here anyway. A great, much needed post. : )

Jen Graber said...

Heather,
I don't often get a chance to post, but want to encourage you to keep sharing your wit, struggles and journey toward Jesus. This post was stellar. I'm a houseparent at a children's home and I'm gonna share it with my boys at devotions tonight. Love what your ministry is all about, and appreciate the insider's view you share with us.

Anita said...

We make our own LEGO + Megabloks stable and minifigure nativity set for Christmas. Star Wars parts, pirate pieces, and a minifigure angel keychain help create the set. I just wish Lego would come out with an official Nativity set!

pamk said...

I love nativity sets and have several different ones. For kids, especially littles, I love the Fisher-Price sets. There are several different ones that run from $29.99-$49.99 on Amazon. Just google it and you should get several hits. Some stores still even have their Cyber Monday sales on, if you order within the next few hours!

Steve & Rachel said...

I enjoy reading your blog. Maybe you've seen this on FB about all the crazy Nativity sets out there: http://whyismarko.com/2011/27-worst-nativity-sets-the-annual-growing-list/

Katie said...

Everything about this post is fantastic. A friend of mine shared your post with me, glad she did. I actually made a plush nativity for my kids..hopefully one to be expanded upon in the future :). Here it is if you're interested...http://katieemrich.blogspot.com/2010/12/plush-nativity.html

Debbie said...

Thank you for bringing more JOY to this season with this post! I laughed and laughed, reminiscing about the abuse the 3 of us kids put on the Holy Family back in the 70's! In my house now (which has 14 steps)the 3 Wise Men,Mary and Joseph start out upstairs in random places. (the animals are already in the manger)On the 14th of Dec., the gang begins their descent together downstairs- and for each kind,helpful,loving,sweet action my children are "caught" doing, they get to put a string of yellow yarn (hay) in the manger for the baby Jesus! The goal is to have a nice, comfy bed ready for Him on Christmas Eve when He is placed in the manger!My kids (16,15&8)LOVE this tradition. Thank goodness for super glue though!! Some of the Shepherds have had a rough time over the years!! I pray you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!!

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the laughs!!
We have a ceramic set that is off limits, but my guys LOVE their Little People one. Oh, and just so you know--Jesus was born in Buffaloham.


http://kimberlys-cup.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-with-us.html

Sarah said...

I have many wonderful memories of playing with my mom's nativity sets as a child, but they must have been indestructible since she sent one of them to me last year!

I also have a beautiful olive wood set that my mom brought back from Israel a few years ago. I've removed Joseph's staff (really, a glorified toothpick-but all I can see is a skewered eye) but my son is allowed to play with the rest of it. What I've noticed is that the cast of characters have apparently developed narcolepsy. I'll set them up and within minutes every last piece (animals included) is on its back! I can't wait to see what antics are to come!

Amy Sullivan said...

Just found your place through a friend, and I could be addicted.

Caitlin said...

Oh my goodness, this post just made you famous. I came to it from the William's Family Blog, and now I have shared with all my "little boy loving" friends.

I want to find some lego people to throw in my nativity set this year! We don't have any little guys in the house.....so that would be really interesting!

I am CRACKING up. So true. So true. And now I'm addicted to your blog. So thank you very much =)

Caitlin said...

Oh my goodness, this post just made you famous. I came to it from the William's Family Blog, and now I have shared with all my "little boy loving" friends.

I want to find some lego people to throw in my nativity set this year! We don't have any little guys in the house.....so that would be really interesting!

I am CRACKING up. So true. So true. And now I'm addicted to your blog. So thank you very much =)

Unknown said...

The characters in our nativity always took a ride on the train going around our Christmas tree.

Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, so I can't really recommend a good kid-friendly nativity set, but our church is doing something interesting with its nativity set this year during the children's time. During the first week of advent, the kids set the stable on the alter. Then they placed Mary and Joseph on one side of the sanctuary because they were travelling to Bethlehem. They placed the angel on the highest rail one could reach while standing on a chair to represent the heavens. The shepherds were on the opposite side of the sanctuary tending their sheep. The wisemen were coming from afar (the back of the sanctuary). Each week when the scripture is read for that part of the advent season, the children move the relevant characters closer to the stable, so they get to play an active part in the story (and touch the figurines).

Brenda said...

The Baby Jesus Massacre of '09 happened in our home. The papier mache' nativity set was lovingly placed on the sofa table, that was behind the sofa (duh, right?). Upon returning home from church we come upon paper, paper everywhere! Baby Jesus had been snatched from his comfy cozy manger and ripped to shreds. The culprit you ask? One 9 month old Westie that we had mistakenly deemed responsible enough to roam the domicile while his family was worshiping. We still use the nativity, it's just a picture of The Holy Family awaiting the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A perfect picture of today though, wouldn't you say? Jesus, ripped to shreds, verbally, by those most needing him. We wait, sometimes not so patiently, just as they waited for Jesus' arrival the first time, we wait for his second coming! But, onto the kids - they had a lego nativity that I felt needed to be displayed just as the picture on the box - when not being taken apart and reassembled on the coffee table! I still have it - one day, maybe, I will have grand kids who will enjoy it!

mccart said...


i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted traditional spell hospital for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he traditional spell hospital casted on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you traditional spell hospital for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com. and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

grant stielve said...



BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK,ANY TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE.BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE ROSE AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2YEARS WITH MY 7YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 7 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND MOST OF THEM WERE FROM SOUTH AFRICA UNTIL I SAW THIS Email Online ABOUT DR KAKA SPELL IN NIGERIA AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HIM A CALL.HE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND £500 AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS SO I HAVE TO END THE CALL AS I HAVE PAID OVER $7000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR BECAUSE OF ROSE SO I SAID LET ME GIVE HIM A TRY SO I CALLED HIM AGAIN AND SEND MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND THE £340 BECAUSE I SWEAR IT WAS MY LAST TRY SO I WAS WAITING AS HE TOLD ME TO WAIT TILL NEXT DAY AND I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT BECAUSE I REALLY LOVE ROSE AND WANT HER BACK AT 9PM THAT DAY I SAW ROSE ONLINE ON FACE BOOK AND SHE SAID HI AT FIRST I WAS SHOCK BECAUSE SHE NEVER TALK WITH ME FOR THE PAST A YEAR AND 9 MONTH NOW I DID NOT REPLY AGAIN SHE SAID ARE YOU THERE? I QUICKLY REPLY YES AND SHE SAID CAN WE SEE TOMORROW I SAID YES AND SHE WENT OFFLINE I WAS CONFUSED I TRY TO CHAT WITH HER AGAIN BUT SHE WAS NO MORE ONLINE I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT AS I WAS WONDERING WHAT SHE IS GOING TO SAY, BY 7.AM THE NEXT MORNING SHE GAVE ME A MISS CALL I DECIDED NOT TO CALL BACK AS I WAS STILL ON SHOCK AGAIN SHE CALL AND I PICK SHE SAID CAN WE SEE AFTER WORK TODAY I SAID YES SO SHE END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY I GOT OFF WORK SHE CALL ME AND WE MEET AND NOW WE ARE BACK AGAIN I CALL DR KAKA THE NEXT DAY THANKING HIM FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE IN FACT I STILL CALL HIM AND THANK HIM AS MY LIFE WAS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT ROSE PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE I HAVE BEEN SCAM THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IF YOU WANT A LOVE SPELL THE CALL DR KAKA NOW +2347061208098 OR EMAIL HIM (KAKARAKASPELL@YAHOO.COM) Sincerely,.
{kakarakaspell@yahoo.com}

grant stielve said...



BE CAREFUL HERE NOBODY CAN HELP YOU HERE OR EVEN SUGGEST HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EX OR LOVE BACK,ANY TESTIMONIES OF MOST SPELL CASTER HERE MUST BE IGNORE.BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE SCAM I MEAN REAL SCAM WHICH I WAS A VICTIM AND I GOT RIPPED OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE I WAS SO ANXIOUS TO GET MY WIFE ROSE AFTER SHE LEFT ME FOR OVER 2YEARS WITH MY 7YEARS OLD SON JERRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 7 DIFFERENT SPELL CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND MOST OF THEM WERE FROM SOUTH AFRICA UNTIL I SAW THIS Email Online ABOUT DR KAKA SPELL IN NIGERIA AND I DECIDED TO GAVE HIM A CALL.HE ASK ME FOUR THINGS MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND £500 AND SAID MY EX WILL COME BACK IN 24HOURS SO I HAVE TO END THE CALL AS I HAVE PAID OVER $7000 ON SPELL CASTING AND COURIER AND NOTHING HAVE WORK FOR ME AFTER 3 DAYS I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE LOST SO FAR BECAUSE OF ROSE SO I SAID LET ME GIVE HIM A TRY SO I CALLED HIM AGAIN AND SEND MY REAL NAME,MY EX AND MY EX MOTHER NAME AND THE £340 BECAUSE I SWEAR IT WAS MY LAST TRY SO I WAS WAITING AS HE TOLD ME TO WAIT TILL NEXT DAY AND I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT BECAUSE I REALLY LOVE ROSE AND WANT HER BACK AT 9PM THAT DAY I SAW ROSE ONLINE ON FACE BOOK AND SHE SAID HI AT FIRST I WAS SHOCK BECAUSE SHE NEVER TALK WITH ME FOR THE PAST A YEAR AND 9 MONTH NOW I DID NOT REPLY AGAIN SHE SAID ARE YOU THERE? I QUICKLY REPLY YES AND SHE SAID CAN WE SEE TOMORROW I SAID YES AND SHE WENT OFFLINE I WAS CONFUSED I TRY TO CHAT WITH HER AGAIN BUT SHE WAS NO MORE ONLINE I COULD NOT SLEEP THAT NIGHT AS I WAS WONDERING WHAT SHE IS GOING TO SAY, BY 7.AM THE NEXT MORNING SHE GAVE ME A MISS CALL I DECIDED NOT TO CALL BACK AS I WAS STILL ON SHOCK AGAIN SHE CALL AND I PICK SHE SAID CAN WE SEE AFTER WORK TODAY I SAID YES SO SHE END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY I GOT OFF WORK SHE CALL ME AND WE MEET AND NOW WE ARE BACK AGAIN I CALL DR KAKA THE NEXT DAY THANKING HIM FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE IN FACT I STILL CALL HIM AND THANK HIM AS MY LIFE WAS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT ROSE PLEASE BE CAREFUL HERE I HAVE BEEN SCAM THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IF YOU WANT A LOVE SPELL THE CALL DR KAKA NOW +2347061208098 OR EMAIL HIM (KAKARAKASPELL@YAHOO.COM) Sincerely,.
{kakarakaspell@yahoo.com}

Anonymous said...


i am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted supreme spell temple for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he supreme spell temple casted on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you supreme spell temple for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact supremetemple@hotmail.com and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.