I have always loved Nativity Sets. My mother had a beautiful ceramic set painted in blue and white that I remember from my childhood. It was so soft looking that it helped me feel the tenderness of the Christmas story: the birth of Jesus Christ. Since I first went away to collage I have added a few nativity sets to my collection, including my mother’s set from my childhood.
At the beginning of each December we pull out our nativity sets. This year we have the same number of sets as people in our family: 5. Scott is using the Fisher Price Nativity Set we got when Sammi was a baby. As we set up our nativity sets we read the Bible verses about each character. Then we sing a song about each character. This has proved to be a successful activity with young children.
This year it was all about Elli’s wise men visiting Sammi’s Jesus. It’s so fun to see the girls finding each person or animal as we read about them. Then when we are finished reading we play with the sets, retelling the story or parts of it. I love starting the Christmas season this way because it puts the Christmas story of Christ’s birth in our minds and hearts as we go about the rest of our holiday preparations.We also read the story and sing the songs again on Christmas Eve.
Here are the details of our Nativity Story and Songs for each character:
Mary: Luke 1:26-38 “Silent Night“
Joseph: Matthew 1:18-25 “The Shepherd’s Carol” CS, 40
Jesus: Luke 2:1-7 “Away In a Manger” or this version
Shepherds: Luke 2:8-20 “Angels We Have Heard on High“
Wise Men: Matthew 2:1-12 “With Wondering Awe“
This year we are also making a little book that follows the order we read the Christmas story from the Bible. I wrote a short summary of each part with the verse references to put on each page. Yesterday we did the Angel Gabriel and Mary pages. We’re making three books, one for each child, so it’s taking a fair amount of prep work, but the pages yesterday turned out so cute and we had so much fun doing it that I think it’s worth it.
Today we did the pages for Joseph and the angel who comes to him in a dream. Sammi totally won the creativity award today. She made the best looking sleeping Joseph. I wish I’d done my arms the same way! If you’re interested in making this book, too, you can download the words and verses for each page here.