Time seems to be picking up, now that Halloween is almost here. Before you know it, Thanksgiving will have zipped by us, leaving us full and happy. Then Christmas will be here to literally knock us off our feet.
Of course, many of us are behind on Christmas presents as it. But what about children? Most of them are limited on money to spend, especially the young children. Most of them, will resort to making gifts just like I did when I was young.
I have a unique gift idea for a child to make and at the same time, learn a little about Jesus’ birth. When I was a child, I learned how to take a shoe box and put Jesus and the manger scene in it. Over the years, I learned how to make a few adjustments to this neat gift to make it extra fun.
Here is what you need to make a Gift-Box-It Manger Scene:
1 shoe box with lid
1 pack of construction paper (a mix of colors)
Christmas wrapping paper & a bow
tape & glue
glow-in-the-dark stars (optional)
First wrap the shoe box and its lid separately in the Christmas wrapping paper. Carefully put the bow on top of the lid.
On the inside of the box, cover the bottom with brown paper. Put dark blue paper (or black) on the inside of the box along the sides and the inside of the lid to represent night sky. Have your child make a moon and decorate the “walls” and “ceiling” with stars (drawn or glow-in-the-dark). Next, help your child cut out animals, a baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Wise Men, and a manger. If your child wants to, they can color on faces and decorate the manger. Help them tape or glue the manger in place along the inside of the box on one of the long sides. Help them arrange and secure in place the people and animals to create the manger scene.
Using the scissors, on the long side opposite the manger, cut a hole big enough to look through (about the size of a half-dollar). Do the same thing on the other two sides of the box (the small sides).
Place the lid on the box. Now, if you look through the main hole (the long side of the box) you can see the manger scene. Remember to put a flashlight up against one of the other sides to shine through. You can also do this with two lights. Be sure to put them on low if possible! This creates a neat light scene. You can also view the manger scene by looking down upon the scene without having to use the flashlight(s).
To make this project a little bit more creative, your child can write about Jesus’ birth on the bottom of the box. They can also put glow-in-the-dark stars on the inside of the lid. To get them to glow, let them stay out in the light for a few hours.
Now your child has a neat gift to give to someone special!