So, I did this thing.
It was years ago and basically just a part of my constant desperation to entertain my kids and keep things merry and bright in a land where Christmas means 90 degree weather.
This was five years ago. Ellie was 5. Scott was 3. Lucy was just a little thing that lay around and looked cute.
I made a big paper chain and wrote an activity on each ring and we pulled one off every day in December and did the activity. This was not an original idea, obviously. Surprise! I didn’t invent advent! But seriously, it was magical. It spread the fun and excitement of Christmas out over the course of weeks instead of just one or two days. We’ve been doing something like it every year since.
And then! Because it is really hard to make up 24 activities (and because I really hate crafts and so can only do a very, VERY few), I made random activities like this one: Everyone uses the plastic nativity set to tell the story of Baby Jesus. Mommy videos these stories and posts them online. The kids loved telling the story. They loved being on video. It was a happy half hour. Then I posted them and the grandparents far away in another country could see the little darlings. Fun, easy, no prep necessary, no cleanup necessary. Basically the perfect activity.
And that was before I knew how it would feel to watch those videos five years later.
You guys. That thing I did? It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Watching them now? No words.
They’re a bit long, so if you can’t make it through them all, I understand. But it would be a crime not to post them here at all. A serious crime.
Here is Ellie, age 5. Her version is very sweet and conscientious.
Here is Scott, age 3. His version includes a flying donkey and is all told in his adorably raspy little voice. It kills me.
We didn’t have one of Lucy from back then, of course, but after the wonder of watching those, we made one of her this year. Oh yes. Now, she was slightly influenced by having watched the other videos a few days before, but the king who tried to make the wise men his slaves? That’s all her own.
Enough of our cuteness. Go make your own!
Go make your own.
In five years, you’ll be so glad you did.
P.S. If you don’t have an unbreakable nativity set that your kids can play with, buy one now! They are the best for storytelling. The best. In addition to that weird brown plastic one in the videos (which I bought at an Argentine dollar store) we have the Playmobile set. The 8 and 10-year-old still play with it. Highly recommend. Or get this little one. It’s cute and inexpensive.