42: Birthday Cake for Jesus

Rhonda, a fellow elf, sent in a favorite family tradition:

“Every year on Christmas eve, we bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  We light some candles and sing Happy Birthday.  We have decided his favorite cake is probably chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.”

My daughter thinks this is a great idea! Kids love birthday parties and it’s a great way to add another Jesus-focused element into your Christmas celebration.

Photo courtesy of Tim Notari.

84: Nativity Scenes for Kids

One of the most meaningful experiences for children at Christmas is listening to the Christmas story told by their parents and setting up the nativity scene or crèche. This is a great activity for the family as each child can have characters to put in the scene themselves as the story is told. If the kids can read, print out the story and assign everyone a verse to read aloud. For the greatest impact, this activity should be repeated several times throughout the season. It’s a great bedtime story and emphasizes the meaning of Christmas. We can all get a little carried away and distracted by decorating, gift-buying, baking, and events, so before the kids get completely out of control with Christmas craziness, have your nativity set ready to go with the Christmas story printed out and ready to go.

Our top pick for older kids is to make your own scene with LEGOs! You can find instructions here. If you need to order extra pieces, like golden yellow wine glasses for the camel’s wobbly knees, go to The Official LEGO Shop: The best selection of LEGO bricks in the world!

Our top pick for younger kids is the Little People Christmas Story Nativity Scene Playset. Any child would enjoy playing with this adorable nativity set!

Celebrate a special day, from long ago and far away. Place the angel on the stable and the star lights up to guide the wise men from afar and the tune “Away in a Manger” plays. Two fence pieces connect to the stable and to the other Little People playsets. Children love retelling the Christmas story through play, and with a charming set of their very own, they might leave your holiday collectibles alone! Requires 3 “AA” batteries (not included).

Some other sets available include:

There’s one for every family’s style! Please feel free to add to this list in the comments!

Wikipedia article on Nativity Scenes