Christmas is always such a special time of year and our family looks forward to all of our yearly traditions like, Southern Lights at The Kentucky Horse Park, our Elf, Penny returning with crazy shenanigans while we sleep, baking and leaving cookies and Ale-8 for Santa (the Ale-8 instead of milk is how we do it in the bluegrass state) Snuggling together watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas and cooking yummy treats to share. There are so many fun traditions we have that we treasure, but we are always thinking of ways to bring the spirit of giving, and serving others into our home most of all. What better time to build these lessons, than during the Christmas season! I have a very special Christmas tradition that I want to tell you about today. It’s called – The Giving Manger
I’m a sinner saved by his loving grace. I fail daily, but I pray to always have my heart be filled with Jesus and to live the way he intends for me to. We want to teach our children to strive to do the same and to have giving, compassionate hearts. My kids may see us cook a meal for someone sick, or help someone homeless or spend the day lending a listening ear to someone hurting, and they never question why.. they know It’s because by serving others is how we glorify Him. Being compassionate is everything in life and I only hope we can do more. The Giving Manger is a great tradition that helps our children and our family be aware of giving gifts of service.
When I was first introduced to – The Giving Manger, I fell in love with the idea and I was so excited to get it for our family! The mission behind The Giving Manger is to spread the love of Christ through a story and activity that centers around serving others in a way that even little minds and hearts can understand and value. I knew it would be amazing for our kiddos and it would make our Christmas even more full and blessed every year, seeing our family giving gifts of service.
The Giving Manger Christmas Tradition Box set includes :
“The Giving Manger” story book
A small wooden manger
A bundle of straw
And a wooden carved baby Jesus
When we opened the book, we saw the simple yet beautiful illustrations and as we read each page, my eyes filled with tears and those tears started rolling down my cheeks. Each word wraps you up in the story and tugs at your heartstrings. It makes you count all your blessings and makes your soul eager to be a light for him and give gifts of service.
We had teary eyes and hearts filled with gratitude, when we finished the book. Through the story, we learn that each time we give gifts of service, we earn a piece of straw to put in the empty manger and once we have served all season long and the manger is filled with straw, we are then able to place the baby Jesus inside.
I’ll tell you a little bit about our week.. Last weekend we made the decision to finally let the kids get a puppy. They’ve been wanting one for a very long time and after praying about it, we decided they were ready for some responsibility. That being said, with a cute puppy around, there has been some fussin’ over who gets to hold and play with sweet little Nelly Lou.. Well.. Ya’ll, I’ll just go ahead and call it like it is, our darling little Belle has been nothing short of a puppy hog. Bless her little heart.. She has not wanted to share those puppy loves with Bryce or anyone else. When we made her give a turn she would pout and say we don’t think she’s a good puppy mommy and go cry in her room.
So I was pretty surprised, when as soon as we finished reading The Giving Manger, she looked up at me and over at Bryce and said “Here bubby, you can hold our puppy” and put her in his lap. I told her I was proud of her and handed her a piece of straw and she placed it in the manger.
Later, I asked Bryce if he wanted to help me put away laundry, which is usually Belle’s chore and he did. He also picked up trash so that daddy would come home from work to a clean house and be able to relax. I gave him a couple of pieces of straw to put in the manger. The next day I heard Belle singing the words “If you’re happy and you know it, Praise The Lord!” And teaching her puppy about the Joy we have in Jesus. Then later she selflessly gave mamaw her very last piece of her most favorite candy, along with kisses and a big hug. There are sure to be plenty of days where they will be more selfish and need more reminders to serve others, but this week they have earned quite a few pieces of straw for the manger and I’m so proud of their giving little hearts.
The Giving Manger is one of my most favorite Christmas traditions. It’s helping us shape our kids hearts in the most precious way, while having a fun and memorable tradition to share together as a family, every single year! I hope y’all enjoyed hearing about it and if you decide to order it for your family, to enjoy this Christmas, I know you will love it as much as we do!