Focusing on the Nativity: C is for Christ(mas) Series

Welcome to our series “C” is for Christmas: Keeping Christ at the Center!  All week long, 5 bloggers will give you a peek into some of their family’s favorite activities for focusing on the heart of Christmas–our Savior.  Be sure to check the previous posts in our series and join our Christmas-themed link-up here on Friday!


We want the Christ to be the heart of Christmas at our house, so we offer up several ways for our kids to be tangibly involved in the nativity each year.


3 Ways to Focus on the Nativity Christmas Series MamaGab


Nativities for Little Hands

I love Little People and other small toys that encourage creative play.  We especially love the Little People nativity set because our kids can act out the Christmas story over and over again.  We talk about the gifts the wise men bring, how many wise men there were (not necessarily three!), and all of the other important elements in the story.  I encourage the kids to use the toys to act out the Christmas songs they sing at church, so they take the little gray donkey and “clip clop” all the way to Bethlehem, just as their little song says.  Over and over again, the toys reinforce the concepts we are teaching them.


Act Out the Nativity

Last year, I created a basket of makeshift costumes for the kids to act out the Christmas story.  By cutting a hole in a piece of fabric, I made a quick tunic that can be tied with cord or thick yarn.  My kids have fun dressing up as Mary and Joseph, even if the donkey they ride around the house is actually Bullseye, the horse from Toy Story.  Again, this creative play provides a way to reinforce the story that I’m teaching our children all Christmas long.


Where is Baby Jesus in the Nativity?

One of my favorite Christmas traditions was started by my mother.  It is nothing short of brilliant.  We spend several days at her house at Christmas, and one of the first things that my children notice when we arrive is that Baby Jesus is absent.  Every where they look they see the nativity–in the front yard, on the sofa table, on the piano, on the built in cabinets.  But Baby Jesus is not there.  ”Nana, where’s Jesus?” they ask repeatedly.  She tells them that He will arrive on His birthday, just as He should.

This brings Christmas morning to the great crescendo that it should be.  As soon as my children wake up, I remind them that it’s Christmas morning (they’re young and they forget!) and we go running out of our house in our pajamas to see Baby Jesus in the nativity in her front yard.  The kids run inside to announce that Jesus is here, it’s Jesus’ birthday!!  And our Christmas morning is off to the best start possible.  All of us are focused on Christ on Christmas day.


Focus on the Nativity Baby Jesus MamaGab


At some point that day, we will sing Happy Birthday to our Savior and remember that He is the reason we give gifts, just as the wise men brought gifts to Him, and just as He gives us the gift of salvation.  Without the cross, Christmas is nothing.  <–Tweet this!

C is for Christmas


How does your family focus on the Nativity at Christmas?


Christ-Centered Decorating and a Christmas Link-Up!
Advent Calendar: C is for Christ(mas)


  1. I love that your mom hides the baby Jesus! What a sweet idea. :) We have a birthday cake for Jesus too. I think it really drives the point home to the little ones that it’s not about the presents. Great ideas, Gabby! :)
    Jillian recently posted…C is For Christ(mas): Keeping Christ at the CenterMy Profile

  2. Love the photos of your kids and the nativity outdoors. What a fun idea! Thank you for giving us new ideas for celebrating Christmas, Gabby!
    Jelli recently posted…Navigate the Holidays with a Christmas RoadmapMy Profile

  3. I really like the idea of dressing up and acting out the Christmas story. My girls would LOVE that. They will probably fight over who gets to be Mary, but I think it would be fun!
    Keri @ Growing in His Glory recently posted…An Advent Calendar for YouMy Profile

  4. Gabby, these are awesome ideas! I love discovering Jesus on Christmas morning! We’re definitely going to have to do that one. :)
    Caroline @ Anchored In His Grace recently posted…C is for Christ(mas): Children’s Books For A Christ-Centered ChristmasMy Profile

  5. We received the Little People nativity from my MIL a few years ago and we put that one out, too! It’s wonderful.

    This is a wonderful post. I like the idea of anticipating Jesus’ arrival by hiding Him until Christmas morning!
    Lisha recently posted…Sometimes, I Microwave The VeggiesMy Profile

  6. The Little People Nativity is on my wish list! I need to snatch it up one of the times it’s on sale. I’ve heard about hiding baby Jesus until Christmas before, but have yet to do it. Now I really want to. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.
    Deanna recently posted…Gift Ideas for a 2 Year OldMy Profile

    • Yep, or ask for it for a gift for your kids! My daughter got it for her birthday one year (I asked my sister to get it for her). It has been well-loved!

  7. I love all these ideas, especially hiding baby Jesus until Christmas morning. That is just awesome!

  8. I love the baby Jesus being gone tradition! And I love the Little People Nativity set!! Thanks for linking up to How do you do it?’s parenting link up!
    Katelyn F recently posted…Food, Farming, and KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway!My Profile


  1. […]  Gabby from MamaGab is the featured blogger today and she’s sharing how her family focuses on the nativity to draw closer to Christ on Christmas. Definitely head on over to read her great […]

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