Christmas Holidays & Occasions

Nativity Alive: Simple Lessons from the Manger

Nativity Alive
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Fill in the blank about how you’d like to describe Christmas 2015

“This year was the most meaningful Christmas because…. ___________”

I don’t think you wrote:
Presents
Parties
Recipes
Perfect Christmas photo
Decorations

Perhaps you hoped for:
Wonderful Memories
Family
Faith
Peace

How can we have that kind of Christmas? Perhaps we can all learn some simple lessons from the Nativity characters.

Cloth Nativity

Years ago I wrote a Christmas pageant, inspired by my childhood imagination as I played with Nativity figures. In my drama, The Nativity Alive, the characters in a display come to life and tell their stories.

When the drama was presented, I hoped that actors and the audience would see the Nativity as vibrant and real. That they would wonder what it was like, how each character felt, and why they were all so drawn to the manger and the Christ child within. And so for the Twelve Days of Christmas, we too, with child-like eyes can experience the Nativity anew, learning simple lessons from the characters.

Red Nativity

But first let’s start off with the setting itself.

Jesus was probably born in a dark cave filled with animals, not anything like the Italian A-frame Nativity set on my fireplace mantel. We live on a sheep farm where mucking the barn is anything but pleasant and certainly not where a mother would choose to bring a baby into the world. And yet it became a beautiful, holy place because the Son of God was in that space.

Wooden Nativity

How is your home a special place? One December my sister in-law decorated her home and then walked back inside and said, “It looks like somebody THREW up Christmas.” She took down half the decorations and gave them away. I’m Ann Stewart not Martha Stewart, and my home has simple decorations. Our favorites include several nativity sets—some handmade, some fancy, some created by my daughters, some cut out of cardboard.

Mantel Nativity

If you don’t have a Nativity set, select one your children can play with. And for the twelve days of Christmas, let’s talk about making the Nativity come alive for the most meaningful Christmas yet.

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Matthew 2:6-7 NIV

Nativity Alive

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About Ann Stewart

Ann just won the Christy Award for Best Debut Novel of 2017 with Stars in the Grass, originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, and writes “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register. When she's not writing, she's waving her arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball, This is Us, or Madam Secretary. In her free time she hangs out with her husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia--where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.

Encouraged? Share this post...

Ann Stewart

Ann just won the Christy Award for Best Debut Novel of 2017 with Stars in the Grass, originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, and writes “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register.

When she's not writing, she's waving her arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball, This is Us, or Madam Secretary. In her free time she hangs out with her husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia--where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.

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