7th Day: Away in a Manger

On the seventh day we made an old family tradition new again with a surprise gift.

  Over the years I have written about the nativity and our family.  How Brad always talked fondly about his mother’s nativity scene and how special it was to him.  His mom’s nativity is a bit more special than most- the statutes were hand painted by Brad’s grandma and the manger was built by his dad, modeled after the manger his grandfather built!  My mother-in-law even gifted us the nativity scene we have in our own home.  Obviously, there is a lot of love and tradition surrounding the nativity and Brad’s family.

  Last year, Marshall and I read the story of the nativity and set out the characters as we read.  Brad was taking care of business in Minnesota so I didn’t find out until I later talked to my sister-in-law that this was a big tradition in their household as they grew up.  Brad, his siblings, and mom would take turns setting out each figure as the story was being read.  No wonder his mom’s nativity meant so much to Brad, with all of this tradition and love tied to it.
  Having young children, we love Fisher-Price Little People; how good they hold up and how much the kids love them.  So last March when Brad spotted the “old version” Little People Nativity scene of sale for less than ten dollars- an over forty dollar savings- we snatched it up!  This is perfect for little hands to play with and explore.  We love collecting things all year for the Christmas season, as we spot things on sale, it always make it so much easier and less stressful when December rolls around.
“What is it?”

 

Excited to see “the barn”

 

The kids’ new nativity set!

Marshall acted out the story as Brad read our children’s nativity book “The Christmas Story” to both Mads & Violet.

Violet was enthralled by her brother acting out the story

 

 

 

  I was able to explain to Marshall how sad it was that Mary had nowhere to go. We talked about when Violet was in my tummy and mommy went to the hospital; instead Mary had no choice other than a manger.
  Next, we decided that it would be nice to make a nativity craft to send to grandma G!  This particular craft was a joint effort between both Dingman kids.
  First up was Violet, we painted her foot brown and stamped her footprint down for the base of the manger.
“Guys…there’s something on my foot.”

 

 

Ta-da!

 

  Then Marshall drew a little baby Jesus for us to cut out and place in the manger.
He said he needed our big nativity’s baby Jesus as a model

 

And of course everything is better with a sprinkle of glitter

 

 

Marshall is so proud of their baby Jesus and manger
  With the new nativity out, story explained, and craft done it was now time to call the North Pole.  And wouldn’t you know it, Santa himself answered!  The kids were so excited to talk to Santa; Mads and the big man talked about friends and what their favorite thing to do with friends was.
Marshall thinking hard who his best friend is; Violet saying “I am!”

 

She was so excited to finally be able to “talk” on the communicator, let alone have it be Santa!
These two snuggle bugs are my absolute favorite
  It was great to treat Marshall to a new toy as we await Christmas’s arrival; especially with a toy that goes along with the Christmas season and Brad’s family tradition.  We hope grandma loves her manger crafts that the kids worked on and had fun making together.  Tomorrow, Marshall is in for quite the surprise ride!  May your days be filled with tradition and love of family.
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