The Nativity scene might be looking a little empty on Christmas Eve, but prepare your children for the big event by getting the baby Jesus ready, as well as an angel, and (of course) a star to place on top of the creche once Jesus is born. On Christmas morning, before the kids open their gifts, guide them to the manger and get them to put the figures in position. In many families, the youngest child gets to place Jesus in His crib.
To bring a little action to the scene you can start adding a few more animals, even a shepherd or two, but keep those Wise Men at bay! In fact, a fun activity to do with your kids is to place the Magi far from the manger, and each day after the birth of Jesus, have the Wise Men make their approach, so your children can bring them nearer. They can climb over cushions, to represent the mountains they’d have traveled. They have even been known to hitch a ride on a family pet for part of the journey! However, the Wise Men only get placed next to baby Jesus on the Epiphany, 13 days after his birth, on January 6.
Once all the figures have been placed in the manger scene you can get your family to gather around and say a little prayer to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It’s also fun to ask your child what gift they might have offered Jesus had they been alive all those centuries ago, and why. You might be surprised by their answers and even their generosity!
Originally published on Aleteia, republished with their permission.