My favorite Christmas tradition growing up was putting straw into a manger for baby Jesus for every good deed I did. I don’t know if it was truly a tradition for my siblings, but it was to me, & I took it very seriously, & as Christmas approached – if the manger was low on straw, I would do as much service as possible!
I tried to do this with my kids, but after my stroke (which occurred when they were only 2, 4, & 6 years old) it faded.
In primary, we wanted to do “Service for the Savior” in December, & as we discussed how to do it, this memory popped into my head. Later, I was on Etsy, & ran across this manger kit: https://www.etsy.com/listing/757208701/18-manger-kit?epik=dj0yJnU9MTRCbC1ONHRYOTFaVlluODNsS0dVUWFUMS02Nmt5QTcmcD0wJm49NkplaVFrd1V0SEJqZEdUWExJY0lQQSZ0PUFBQUFBR09Ed2NZ
I got sooo excited – I had done it with small mangers, but a manger like that allowed me to do it in primary! I could still do “my favorite tradition” & witness the children’s reactions as they did it!
In talking to the sweet store owner, I discovered they had varying sizes of the manger that could fold & possibly fit in our closet! My husband is a woodworker, so he built me a manger like theirs, & the store owner sent me bags (& their book) free!
I then made a sign to go with it, & a page of service ideas (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cmz-T40oZRSZL9cvs9Ktt-9f9x7GeVJ0lncFSgSWuNY/edit – which came from another idea that I just “ran across”)
This is just one example of how the Lord is in my life, & directs me to those who will help me! I feel like I’ve been flooded with His love as I serve Him & His children! I can’t get over it!
I know that as we serve, we will be filled with His love!
& I want the children to feel that, too!