Since I was a little girl, my mom and I had always waited for Christmas Eve to put baby Jesus in the manger. The empty cradle was symbolic of our waiting for Jesus Christ to arrive at Christmas and I would always get so excited to give him a kiss at midnight (or before bed) on Christmas Eve and then each day until the Epiphany on January 6th.
Since my son was about two years old, however, we've tried something different. We keep Jesus out of the mangers and wait until a few weeks of Advent pass. Then around the third or fourth week of Advent, my son and I collect each baby Jesus and nestled them in a small shoe-box filled with tissue paper. The first year, my son was so excited to collect all the “babies” and proud that he got to put them in the box. Before placing them in the box, my little love gives each baby Jesus figurine a kiss. We then close the box and I wrap it in Christmas wrapping paper. Then, he proudly puts the box under the tree.
The first year, not a minute passed that the box was under the tree and my son started demanding “Open! Open! Open! Baby! Baby! Baby!” I reminded him that baby Jesus is coming soon and we will open it before bed on Christmas Eve. He settled down once I promised him that he will get to unwrap the box and put Jesus back in each of the mangers.
The Best Present of All
When we put Jesus in the box and I told him that Jesus will be here soon, it will hopefully make a bigger impact on him come Christmas Eve.
The box of baby Jesus figurines will also be the first present that he gets to open. This is quite symbolic to the fact that despite all the hours we spend shopping, wrapping and exchanging gifts, Jesus Christ is the best gift that we will ever receive.
“Because of his boundless love, Jesus became what we are that he might make us to be.” – Saint Irenaeus of Lyons
I hope to continue with the tradition with my little loves of placing baby Jesus in the box, wrapping it and putting this greatest gift under the tree. I pray that my son will always nestle Jesus in his heart and soul and carry Him there for all their lives; realizing that Jesus Christ’s birth is our greatest gift.
Do you have any special traditions with baby Jesus that you share with your family? Please share with us on Facebook.
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!