The idea for a Nativity Ring & Run is essentially this:
Step #1: Purchase a 12-piece nativity set (WHATEVER you like! – or, for a cheaper way to go, follow this link for a printable version of a nativity). Here’s the Melissa & Doug one I bought last year at 50% off to use for this year:
Step #2: Print out a description of each piece to the set. You can either follow my link (for older kids), or the link above for some adorable, brief once sentence description. (or print out both if the house has young and old alike!)
Step #3: Wrap each piece, somehow matching it with each print out for delivery.
Step #4: 12 days before Christmas, deliver your first piece of the nativity to an unsuspecting friend by placing said gift on their doorstep, ringing their doorbell, and running before they can see you!
Step #5: Continue each night leading up to Christmas Eve where you’ll deliver Baby Jesus and reveal your identity to your friend!
I posted this idea when I first did it 2 years ago here, with the printables I altered available here. It was perfect for that year when we shared our nativity with our 8year old and 12 year old neighbors. They were a bit older and LOVED the more detailed descriptions of each nativity piece.
I hesitated posting it on my blog, ‘cuz it would be fun to keep our identity a secret, but…if they find out, they find out. Here were my kiddos getting ready to deliver tonight. He was SUPER excited and sneaky!
I have to admit. When we were getting ready to head out, my little boy was not so excited. He wanted to just stay home and play. My frustration was not well contained. “You need to learn to be nice!” I’m sure I shouted. Eek! It’s so hard for little ones to learn to think of someone OTHER than themselves. BUT…I’ll tell ya. As soon as he got caught up in the excitement, he was adorable and was excited for the recipients to get caught up in the excitement as well.
THAT is precisely the reason I chose this as my Thoughtful Thursday post. How WILL he learn to be thoughtful if I don’t model it and help him find ways for his little 4 year old self to act on it? If we are willing to admit it ourselves, sometimes even we don’t want to be thoughtful.
Come on! Admit it. You know, like those moments when you REALLY don’t want to return the shopping cart? You’d rather leave it out stranded for the poor grocery workers to come wrangle? (One of my huge pet peeves by the way, if I can do it with 2 kiddos, people can certainly do it with none!)
Or driving around in Christmas shopping chaos? You’ve already waited for like 5 people to drive by and you’re ready to cut off the next person? (This one I’m always tempted to give into)
Or you stroll up to the communal coffee pot at work and there’s JUST enough for your cup left? You know you should brew a fresh pot instead of put the pot back empty, but why should you have to do it just because of bad timing?
It’s the equivalent of my 4 year old wanting to stay home and play. Putting ourselves before others. It’s not always easy. But…if you can think of the big picture, it’s not really gonna put you out much, and others notice. And, it makes you feel good inside.
So…be thoughtful friends!