As a mother of littles, I struggle to bring the stories of the Bible to life.
Christmas-time is no different. I want my children to have the story of Jesus front and center, and strive to keep a reason for this religious season, more than the secular holiday. I previously blogged about a gift that I think is phenomenal in assisting me in achieving a more hands-on approach to celebrating Jesus’ birth – the Little People’s Fisher Price Nativity Set for children. Every year, we set it up where little hands can play with, interact with, and create stories with, the Bible characters.
This year is no exception. But, what is different this year is the level of story plot involvement.
Allow me to introduce you to
Manger Story 2016:
In the modern Nativity Story, Mary is making her way to the manger on foot. Already at the manger is a school bus (which will come in play later), and the trusty Transformers, sent to protect Mary.
Mary is met by Heatwave, who informs her that he has been sent from outer space to protect her from the Devil. He will keep her safe.
Everything is being prepared for Mary’s arrival at the Nativity. Joseph, on the other hand, is placed in jail – apparently, he got in trouble for committing to Mary?
Before she arrives at the Nativity, Mary must go to school – on the school bus…
At school, she is met by her teacher, Donatello. He will be teaching Mary the finer art of protecting herself, “against the devil and evil Shredder. I will teach you how to stay safe and beat the devil!”
The world will be much safer for Baby Jesus, knowing he has a squad of RescueBots and Donatello preparing Mary and the Manger for His birth!
I allowed my son to take the lead, and occasionally interjected certain faith-based plots into the story. There is definitely a time and place for reverence in the practice of one’s faith. However, I also firmly believe there must also be time to allow small children to be hands-on, and to meet them where they are in regard to imaginative play.
By doing so with my son, I hope I am helping him learn the stories of Our Savior. I pray I am helping him learn his faith, and apply it in his little world today.
Some of my favorite outtakes from the two hour long story:
Narrator (a.k.a. 4 year old): “The RescueBots ran out of Energon and died. I have one RescueBot left; I need to go get him to save the rest of them!”
Heatwave to Mary: “Oh, no, Mary! The zombies are going to bite you and turn you into a zombie! We will protect you!”
Narrator: “Okay, Mary, someone needs to guard you. I don’t have any more RescueBots. I know just the thing – hmmmmm…” (the thing never materialized…)
Heatwave to Mary: “Oh, no, Mary. I have to go! There is an emergency!”
RescueBots to Mary: “Mary, we are aliens. Here to protect you.” (Never fear, Mary…)
In response to my question that maybe the angel is watching over even the RescueBots: “No, Mom, the angel does not protect the RescueBots; the RescueBots protect everyone.”
I left my post of playing Mary to do something else, and forgot to respond when the narrator spoke to Mary: “Mary, you need to wake up!” (My bad…)
Small conversation, which started out with some topic I don’t recall: “Do you know that, Mary?” “Yes, I do.” “See, Mary, I’m smart!“
Narrator to Mary: “Look, Mary – I am making up your mind. Does this look good?”
Narrator to Mary: “See, Mary? I have a school bus!” “What do school buses do?” “People ride them. People get on them and ride on them.”
Narrator: “The German Shepherd needs help and the RescueBots are going to protect. Because they protect humans!” (And, now our Shepherd is apparently a human…)
Narrator: “Daddy always says silly words, Mary.”
School bus driver to Mary: “I need to sign you in, Mary.” “Why do you need to sign me in?!” “Because you are late, Mary … for church school.”
RescueBots: “We don’t need a Elf on the Shelf, Mary, because we are RescueBots. We don’t need one; we don’t like Elf on the Shelfs.”
RescueBots: “You need to thank us, Mary, for saving you. You need to thank all us RescueBots.”
Narrator: “Who’s your husband, Mary?” “Joseph.” “Is he a German Shepherd Joseph?” “Uhhhhh – I guess so?” *Narrator knocks Joseph over, then announces, “Uh-oh, he’s dead.” (…and, about that time, so was I – from laughing so hard…)