One of our family's favorite Christmas traditions: What God wants for Christmas, a hands-on nativity set that comes with a poetic storybook that explains the story of Christmas.
We bought this nine years ago at one of our local Christian bookstores, Mardel, when my oldest son was a baby. My man and I set up the nativity and read it together that first year; after that, my son was able to help set it up. Now we just sit back with strong coffee and listen while our two oldest boys read the story, and our two youngest help them arrange the nativity.
The set includes seven boxes. Our kids love holding the boxes and taking their turn to open one box at a time and set the contents on the nativity board. The pieces are strong and kid-safe, but have cool detail. Each page of the book introduces one of the nativity pieces. Spoiler alert: the last box is almost empty, but look close and you'll see a mirror. What God really wants for Christmas? YOU!
Our family reads this story once per week the month of December. It's a great reminder for all of us what Christmas is all about. I'm already tired of all the "buy buy buy" advertising, and want to focus instead on what the true gift of Christmas really is.
"...I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David
a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord."