I love Christmas. I especially love it now we have kids. Preparing the house and our hearts during Advent brings much joy and excitement. But each year there is the challenge to focus on the real meaning of Christmas and not get caught up on other worldly symbols of Christmas. We took the opportunity to buy a Nativity scene from Bethlehem made out of olive wood seeing Bethlehem is just down the road. We love it. It has taken central focus in our house. As a trial for this Christmas, we have sent Mary and Joseph on a journey to Bethlehem. During the night they get up to all sorts of mischief while the kids are sleeping. When the children awake, they hunt to find Mary and Joseph and see what they got up to last night. The idea is inspired by ‘The Elf on the Shelf’ and ‘Dinovember’. I wanted to use the Elf of the Shelf, but put a Christian spin on it. As a result, every morning the children are talking about Mary and Joseph, Bethlehem and the Nativity scene. I feel like mission has been accomplished. I’m hoping I don’t run out of ideas. We attempted using a chocolate advent calendar. This has been disasterous causing all sorts of fights and arguments. We have gotten rid of it as it was giving the wrong meaning of Christmas (chocolate and fighting). I’ll attempt to make one for next year. How are you keeping Christmas ‘real’? Below are photos from the journey so far. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Excuse the poor quality of pictures, the night lighting doesn’t work too well with the Iphone camera.