Every Christmas we set up a beautiful white ceramic nativity set on top of the piano but the children are not allowed to play with it. This year I decided to buy a wooden nativity set that they could play with and they love to act out the nativity story with these cute little figures.
I still get a little stressed about losing baby Jesus when they play with it as he's a bit little, but we've had it over a week now and its still all there so we're off to a good start. There's something lovely about wooden toys. I bought mine from mywoodentoys.com.au in Perth, along with some other little pressies that I've hidden away in the top of the cupboard (check out this lock box - I'm planning on using it as a reward when they do something great - I'll put a little treat in it and they have to open one of the doors to get it out).
A family tradition that we started last year and is working really well is the "Warm Fuzzies" jar. Each time someone in the family does something nice they can add a warm fuzzy (cotton ball) to the jar. Sarah just loves to add them and goes out of her way to do and say kind things (lots of bed making and hugs!). Then on Christmas eve we put the jar under the Christmas tree as our present to Jesus. Throughout December we talk about how our best present to the Saviour is to do and say kind things to others. Even though our children are very young they seem to really understand this concept, and its so so simple. The whole warm fuzzies idea started with this talk.
Life gets so busy and stressful at this time of the year (I've organised hardly any presents and I'm starting to get a little panicky with all that needs to be done before the 25th but I have a feeling I'm not alone). I'd love to hear your suggestions of how to keep Christmas meaningful.