“Be happy…”

I want to share today the best Christmas craft I’ve ever made.  It may not be as beautiful as the ruffled tree skirt, or as fun as decorating the whole house for Christmas, or as cool as the vintage marquee lights

but it is infinitely more valuable.

Someday I’ll share a tutorial, but for today, I just want to tell a story.

In the words of my older son last year (when he was 2)…

“One day, an angel came to a woman named Mary and said, ‘Be happy…'”

christmas story mary and joseph

Why?  “Because there’s a baby in her tummy.”  And his name will be? “Baby Jesus.  And he will save people from their sins.”  And when the baby was about to be born, Mary and Joseph went to the town of? “Beflehem.”

christmas story bethlehem

“But there was no room in the inn, so they had to stay in the stable… with the cows, goats, and donkeys.”

christmas story stable

That night, on a hill outside of Bethlehem, there were some… “Shepherds watching their sheep.  And the shepherds were afraid because an angel came to them and said, ‘I bring you good news!  Today is born in Beflehem a Savior who is Christ the Lord.'”  And this will be a sign to you.  You will find the baby… “Wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

christmas story shepherds

Now I have to interrupt the story briefly and explain why I had to give you last year’s version…  Because this year, we’ve only made it this far.  The rest of the story is tucked away in our little pockets which we open every night: one for each night in December.

christmas story advent pockets

But since we did it last year, I think I can remember how it goes…

Meanwhile, there were some men from far away in the East who decided to follow… “A star.”

christmas story star

And they brought with them “Presents for baby Jesus!”  (Though I have to insert here that he now knows what the three gifts were… he surprised me with that one this year!)

christmas story three kings

And the best part is that when the shepherds reached the stable, they found exactly what the angel had promised… “Baby Jesus, lying in the manger… Christ the Lord!”

christmas story full nativity

And that, my friends, is my favorite Christmas craft and tradition ever.  What’s yours?


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  1. That is such a beautiful idea Rachel! Love it!

  2. We have a felt advent calendar similar to the one you made, but I bought it at the Christian bookstore a few years ago. I have always wanted to insert a piece of paper with a part of the birth story in each pocket, but I’m not sure how to divide it up, and which verses should go with which animal/ person/ star. When you do a tutorial, could you also include the bible verses that correspond to each felt character?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I think it’s wonderful that you do a similar thing for Christmas, Kathryn! I promise to share what I have whenever I get around to a tutorial! :)

  3. I love this, and I can’t wait for the tutorial, Rachel! With almost a full year until next Christmas, maybe I can actually get such a thing put together before then… 😉 Hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I may need a whole year to actually write the tutorial… Ha! No, really, I’ll try my best to make it soon. :) Hope your Christmas was beautiful and blessed, too!

  4. Susan Clark says:

    Oh I so hope you can get to this project! This would be my Christmas gift to all our 6 kids next year for them to share with our 9 grandchildren! Love love it!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      What a fabulous idea, Susan! I’ve got it on the calendar to share the tutorial later this month… Hold me to it! :)

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