4th Day: Carrying on Tradition

The fourth day was about continuing a family tradition from Brad’s extended family.  It was a day dedicated to the nativity.

I have mentioned it in the past, but for new readers: the nativity carries strong sentiment for Brad.  His mom’s nativity was built by his father and the statues were hand painted by his grandmother.  Every year at Christmas time, his mom would read the story of the nativity while Brad and his three older siblings would take turns setting out the statues that coordinated with the story.  What a wonderful way to really engage the kids in the story and teach them!

Our nice nativity (that we set way up out of Vi’s reach) was even gifted to us by Brad’s mom.  Marshall gets so excited when he sees Brad setting it up.  At 16 months old, Vi doesn’t fully understand why she should be excited but seeing Marshall and her daddy so happy makes her enthusiastic for it too.


When Brad was done, we continued the tradition of setting up the nativity while reading the story with the kids.  We use the Fischer Price Little People nativity set and a board book- Marshall would be fine with a paper book and glass figurines but Vi is still pretty young to be trusted to be safe with them.

Reading the book to the kids like when he was a child.

Vi carefully setting up the nativity like a big girl

Marshall’s turn to put his Little Person in the stable

Playing with the nativity set

We have done different nativity crafts in the past, but this year’s was a bit more special than fingerpaints and sensory projects.  This year, Brad & Marshall decided to make their own wooden nativity!

Wood gluing the pieces together in Papa’s workshop

Carefully hammering the nails into place. He loves the specialness of just him and his papa in the workshop.

I picked up some simple peg-people for Marshall to decorate to complete the look.  We used paint, paper, cotton balls, and twine to make the recognizable figures from the Bible.  Marshall did an awesome job with them!

Carefully painting Mary’s dress

I asked Marshall questions while he worked on the pegs: Who is this?  What do they do in the story?  and more- Marshall knew their names and stories.  It really showed that these years of including him in the nativity and doing these crafts really helped him understand.

He worked so hard on his homemade nativity, he did an excellent job on his all day project! Patiently waiting for paint to dry to do the next step and letting the glue set.  I helped with the faces because he was getting frustrated with the tiny features.


As an added bonus, we couldn’t finish the day without a treat of some sort!  We thought it would be fitting to make the Star of Bethlehem lollipops.  I’ve previously written about seemingly small traditions other mothers included me in when I was growing up; making chocolate lollipops- especially around Christmas time- is one of those fond memories that made a lasting impression on me.

The kids had to take turns licking the whisk when they were done mixing the chocolate

Using gold food-paint to make our finished lollipops gold

So easy! Just your favorite melted chocolates (I cut mine with coconut oil), chocolate mold, and food-coloring spray!

These are the kinds of days I adore; carrying on traditions from our childhood into our parenting.  It’s really the kind of thing I hope to be able to do, to leave such a lasting imprint of fond memories that my own children want to carry it on with the families they go on to create for themselves.  Now we have an adorable homemade manger of our own as well as some yummy treats to enjoy over the next few days.

We hope that you all are carrying on beloved traditions this holiday season, as well as creating treasured memories of your own.  Wishing you a silent night!

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