Traditions of Christmas ~ Our Nativity Scene

 "Gingerbread and candy canes, cookies baked to give away; 
singing carols, Christmas plays, gifts and going to Grandma's place." 

 All of these have been a big part of our family's celebrations, but the most important thing to us has been to instill in our children and grandchildren the true meaning of Christmas. 

 "While some traditions come and go, others we hold dear"

  For the past 25 years or so, the center of our decorations has been our manger scene, depicting the birth of Christ. 

Making a wood manger scene to show the true meaning of Christmas

  This manger scene started out with a simple line drawing cut out of cardboard. The scene consisted of Mary and Joseph, three shepherds, a few sheep, and a tiny manger. The shepherds and Joseph stand about 11 inches high. Brian took that pattern and using his scroll saw, cut the forms out of wood. I used a wooden bead, and a scrap of fabric to make the little baby Jesus. I considered painting these figures but decided to leave them plain. 
Individual manger scene pieces

We usually string lights behind them, creating a silhouette.

Jesus is the reason we celebrate the Christmas season. Luke 2

"Hanging up the sparkling lights around our manger scene,
 to show the birth of Jesus is what Christmas truly means, 
was our tradition every year, to give God all the glory.
Songs of Jesus coming retold the Christmas story."

Wooden manger scene silhouette
If you aren't able to make the wooden set, thick cardboard works well too. I covered a cardboard set with tinfoil to make a silhouette for the window. 

Window Manger Scene

"This one tradition never changed, for every Christmas morning, 
Dad would take his Bible and read the Christmas story."
Every Christmas Morning Dad would read the Christmas story from Luke 2

Luke 2:1-19 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

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Have a wonderful Christmas, and remember,
 Jesus is the reason we celebrate the Christmas season.

The Nativity Scene is central to Christmas decorations

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