*Wrap the stable and animals (except the sheep...save those for December 6) for today's gift.
- Read Luke 2: 5-7.
"He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them."
- Pass out the gifts to be unwrapped and let the children open them.
- Remind your children why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem (The census discussion from December 2nd should help.)
- Ask your children, "Where would we have to travel if we were told to go to the hometown of our dad?"
- Talk about how busy the town would be today if you actually had to travel back with everyone else from that same town. (Equate it to a festival there, or a time when many go back to visit.)
- Ask your children where everyone would stay if that were to happen. We don't have stables today, but would Joseph and Mary's situation today mean they would have stayed in their car in a hotel parking lot or in someone's garage?
- Discuss that Joseph and Mary were back in Joseph's hometown and it was very crowded.
- Talk about their situation and the open stable that was offered to them. Discuss the sights, sounds and smells of such a place.
- Pray with your family. Thank God for giving Joseph and Mary a place to stay. Thank God for Christmas and ask God to teach you more about Him this season.