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The Christmas Crib

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

The Christmas Crib has become one of the most meaningful Advent traditions for our family. I love the tradition because it emphasizes thinking of others and doing good deeds.

Before the first Sunday of Advent, gather together a small basket or the manger from your nativity set, a small cup or dish, raffia or straw cut into 2-inch pieces, and a baby Jesus figurine.

On the first Sunday of Advent, right after evening devotions, set the small basket or manger out on your kitchen or dining room table. Next to the manger, place the small cup or dish out. Fill the cup or dish with the pieces of straw and place the baby Jesus figurine next to it all.

Explain to your family that Advent is about preparing our hearts for the coming of our Savior, Jesus, and that during Advent we try to do as many good deeds for others as we can. Tell them that the straw in the cup is for baby Jesus’ manger. From now on, whenever they do a good deed, they should get a piece of straw from the cup and place it in the manger. Explain to your children that the goal is to get the manger as full as possible before Christmas Eve so that baby Jesus has a super soft bed.

My family takes this tradition very seriously! I can’t tell you how touching (and surprising!) it is to see my children doing as many good deeds as they can. They love to know that baby Jesus will be surrounded by their love and good deeds made visible with the straw. It is such a sweet tradition that creates a spirit of selfless love and generosity.


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