I think it’s so hard sometimes to get the commercialism out of Christmas time! I really do LOVE everything about Christmas—I love the lights, the presents, the fun carols, all of it. But it is easy to lose focus, and even harder for my kids! So we try our best and hope for the best :).
In Matthew 25:40 it says…“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
So we read that scripture to our children and explain that the nice things we do for others around us, is like we are also doing them for Jesus.
I did some research on the idea, and found a cute book on Amazon called The Last Straw. I am unsure if the idea originated from the book, but the purpose with the manger is that for every act of service someone does, they put a piece of “straw” into the manger for baby Jesus so that He has a soft bed to lay on by Christmas. This is a great thing to do as my kids are looking for ways to serve and coming up with a lot of them on their own. It’s so neat to see their excitement after anonymously doing something for someone else especially!
For the Manger you’ll need:
-vinyl or felt (one of my readers suggested this and it is a great idea!)—this vinyl I bought as a remnant and it has the soft backing on it. It is thinner than some of the stuff you can buy out there, which makes it easier to sew through two layers like we will today.
-heavy-duty sewing machine needle
Print out the manger pattern here, and cut your vinyl pieces out.
You will just be gluing the pieces together first so they don’t move much (as pins will leave holes in the vinyl). So glue two of the ends together, then repeat with the other ends, the sides, and the bottom.
For baby Jesus you will need:
-a wooden ball
-a small piece of felt cut to fit the head and look like hair
-two cotton balls
-a popsicle stick with the bottom couple inches broken off
-a small square of fabric