Yesterday I shared 25 Christ-centered Christmas traditions, and assured you that I would be blogging about these ideas before Advent. I want you to have all the ideas and resources you need! We’ll start with things you might want to buy, since Advent is coming soon!
Today’s topic: Child-friendly Nativities!
Having a Nativity your child can touch is important; it helps them really interact with the story. You can also keep it out all year, and the tactile exploration will remind them of all that you learned during the Advent and Christmas season.
It doesn’t require spending money, though! You can find free printable nativities online. Print it off, color it in, and set it up! You don’t even have to use up that expensive color ink. Here’s my favorite printable nativity, from Catholic Icing (click on the picture to go there!).
Now, you might want to purchase a Nativity set that will be more durable, and last multiple years. I would say “last a lifetime”, but if you’re reading this, you likely have children, and know that nothing is guaranteed to last a lifetime with those sweet, curious, energetic little beings in your home.
Before you head to a big box store to buy something plastic, though, let me make another suggestion: purchase one of these sustainable Nativity sets through Ten Thousand Villages. They are beautiful, and your purchase supports artisans in countries around the world. Each product you buy will come with a little story telling where it was made. Since Jesus came for everyone, what better way to celebrate him than having a Nativity made by someone in a country or from a culture different from your own? Beautiful, all the way around. And you’re supporting artisans with fair wages, rather than something made in a factory with less-than-stellar working conditions. It’s like giving a gift and receiving something completely unique and wonderful in return! Here are some ideas; click on any picture to go to its purchase site! These range in price from $18 to $145…you’re sure to find something affordable, or even an heirloom! [Please note that items and prices are current as of 11/20/13, but prices and availability may change at any time.]
Made in Ecuador, $29.99
Made in Peru, $24.00
Made in Vietnam, $29.00
Made in Indonesia, $79.00
Made in Peru, $225.00
Made in Colombia, $39.00
Made in Peru, $67.00
Made in Peru, $49.00
Made in Peru, $145.00
Made in Colombia, $29.00
Made in Indonesia, $29.00
Made in Ecuador, $18.00
Amazing nativities, aren’t they? The craftsmanship is truly astounding. The Arctic Nativity makes me giggle every time I see it. Isn’t it wonderful? We tend to paint Jesus as white, even though he couldn’t have been; why not have him all bundled up with polar bears? What wonderful conversations to have with our children!
Now, I hope you’ve found something you love already. But if you’d still like to see other options, or have a baby who is likely to lick baby Jesus, here are a few you can find at ChristianBook.com that would be suitable for slobber:
Little People Nativity, 29.99
The classic Little People nativity. We have this. Here’s my beef with it: Joseph is a shepherd! He was a CARPENTER, people. No shepherd’s crooks in his hand, please! Also, the wise men?! Didn’t get there until Jesus was TWO. TWO YEARS OLD. Not Christmas Eve. Keep those guys traveling until Epiphany, okay? Also, the only shepherd in this set IS Joseph. Fisher Price left the real shepherds out completely. As if hanging out with stinky sheep all day weren’t bad enough, poor guys.
Tales of Glory Nativity, 19.99
Once again, poor carpenter Joseph is miscast as a SHEPHERD. First, no one believes that his fiancé is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and now his profession is stripped from him…it’s never ending for that guy, I tell you. This set does at least include some of the real shepherds, though!
Veggie Tales Nativity, $29.99
We were given this set, and we like it. It’s fun, especially dressing up the squash guys as a cow. I don’t think I could recommend it as your primary nativity set, since it might cause a little confusion about whether Jesus is real or actually part of the Veggie Tales gang, but it’s fun to play with and cute.
[Please note that items and prices are current as of 11/20/13, but prices and availability may change at any time.]
Do you have a favorite child-friendly nativity set? Feel free to share it in the comments!