15. Set up the Christmas nativity.
(Read the Nativity Story about the birth of baby Jesus.)
It may be hard to tell in this photo, but Kelsie is playing with Nana’s little wooden nativity in the picture.
The Nativity Story
A very long time ago in the town of Nazareth, there lived a young woman named Mary. She was engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter. One day an angel appeared and told her she had been chosen to have a special baby. The baby would be God’s son and she must call him Jesus.
Soon after the angel’s visit, Mary and Joseph were married. Mary was due to have her baby when they were told they had to go on a long journey to Bethlehem, which was where Joseph came from. This was because they had to pay a special tax. Mary had to ride on a donkey for a few days over the hills of Galilee.
At last Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. It was crowded with other people who needed to pay their taxes. Mary was very tired and needed a place to stay. At each inn, the story was the same. There was no room for them. Eventually, one kind innkeeper said he had a stable where he kept his animals. They were welcome to stay there.
And so it was that a few hours later, Mary gave birth to her son in that stable. She wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth called swaddling and laid Him in a manger full of hay.
At the same time, on a hillside overlooking Bethlehem, some shepherds were watching over their sheep. A bright light appeared in the sky. They were very afraid. It was an angel sent by God. The angel told them not to be afraid, because he had some good news. He said the Son of God had been born and they would find Him in Bethlehem.
The shepherds wanted to see the baby. When they arrived at the stable, they were filled with joy at seeing Jesus lying in the manger. They knelt down and worshipped Him. They told Mary and Joseph how the angel had appeared in the sky and told them that Jesus was to be the Savior of the world.
Far away in the East, Wise Men saw a new star shining high in the sky. The Wise Men knew this was a very special star that meant a great ruler had been born, the King of the Jews, who would save the world. The star became known as the star of Bethlehem.
The Wise Men set off to find the baby on their camels. They were guided by the star of Bethlehem to the stable. Here they knelt down and worshipped Jesus. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which were very valuable gifts in those days. Gold could be used to buy things and the frankincense and myrrh were used for medicine and perfume.
This story is the real story of why we celebrate Christmas today, to celebrate the coming birth of Jesus Christ who later died on the cross to save our souls from our sins. This celebration is named after Jesus Christ as the Mass of Christ or Christmas.
We give presents to those we love just like the 3 wise men did and because Jesus was special we keep this as a special celebratory time of year every year.