Monday, December 24, 2012

The peaceful family Nativity

Over the years, we've done a number of family Nativity "plays."
Some were better than others.
When the kids were little we tried having daddy be the donkey and the littlest child be the Baby Jesus.
We sometimes got through it with no yelling on Mommy's part and no collateral damage.
We even have a couple of handwritten storybooks that have become family heirlooms that show the baby ("She" was probably 3 at the time) with her legs hanging out of the manger.
Erica the angel
We built up quite a collection of shepherd's robes, staffs and angel halos and I would find myself throughout the year looking at every wooden basket and box as a potential manger.
We tried it with narration and with speaking parts.
Adell and Hannah "Marys"
As the boys got older it was harder to get them into their roles as the shepherds and Joseph, particularly since Mary was one of their sisters.
They didn't mind the King Herod/Caesar Augustus part or that of the innkeeper because they could sit on a throne or stand at the door and bark orders.
The angels were usually unhappy because they weren't asked to be Mary.
The Three Kings liked giving the Baby Jesus presents but we always ended up puzzled over the Frankincense and Myrrh. What the heck is that stuff?
King Steven
This year we tried it with the grandkids at the family party.
We built a backdrop, hung a star and borrowed a manger.
We told everyone to bring their own costumes and we planned for two Marys to cut down on the infighting.
Other than having to use an elf from the "Elf on the Shelf" storybook for the baby, we think it went pretty well.
Nobody cried.
Nobody punched anybody.
Even two-year-old Mia got into the action and at the end we ended up with a photo that will make a good 2013 Christmas card.
Here are a few shots from the "movie."

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