I’m so excited to share this traveling Nativity. This year is the first year my kids get it. Every year, we’ve done the Christmas story — we’ve read it, talked about it, the whole shebang. For the first time, this year, it seems like my kids are actually following along.
The concept is simple: Every night, Mary and Joseph move a doorknob closer to the tree. For each movement, we tell another part of the Christmas story.
When Mary and Joseph reach the tree, the manger is waiting. On Christmas Eve, we place the baby Jesus in the manger and finish the story.
I test drove this one back in November, and it worked so well. My kids were excited to move the ornament closer, and they were interested to hear more of the story. We’ll be doing it again this month. They’re small enough the repetition will probably be good for them.
My house has 12 doorknobs, so that’s how may days we made this take. Below is how I broke the story up. Feel free to condense or expand as needed.
(Yes, I’m aware that the wisemen/King Herod thing was nearly 2 years after Jesus was born. If it bothers you, go right ahead and tell the story your way.)
Now, here’s how you make the ornaments:
Start by printing the baby/manger and Mary/Joseph printables on the cardstock. The baby/manger printable has a few other things on it. I just throw them away.
Kids can help here by coloring the pieces you’re using.
When the printables are colored, you’ll cut around out the baby completely and lay it to the side. For the manger and Mary/Joseph, cut out a circle around them.
Then, cut out two more circles, one to match the manger and one to match Mary and Joseph.
Before you go any further, cut a slit in the manger. This will be where you put the baby on Christmas Eve.
Now, take the marker and make a dashed line around the manger and Mary and Joseph. This gives it a hand-stiched look.
Then, glue around the edge of the two ornaments and stick the second cardstock circle to their backs. You need to leave a small piece open. This will be where you put the stuffing.
Now stuff in some of the stuffing (it doesn’t take much), and glue the opening closed.
Once the ornament is dried, use the hole punch to make a hole at the top, slide the yarn through, and knot it. You’re ready for Christmas!