It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 12 of the Twelve Days of Christmas

This is it! The last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas! And, of course, it's a nativity. For me, that is the culmination of all the happiness and joy and celebrating. The real reason for Christmas. I have a little pin that says Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and I wear it all season long.

Our little nativity is all natural this year and it looks like this:

Gather your supplies and let's get started. You will need: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole allspice, Star Anise, a pine cone and jute twine. You will also need a little hot glue to help you hold it together and a little saw to cut the cinnamon sticks and the pine cone.

You need 5 cinnamon sticks to 3" to 3 1/2" long. Mine were 7" so I just cut them in half. You can adjust if yours are 4", but if they're longer than that, you need to use a saw to cut them. You also need one piece 1 1/4" long, for Joseph. You need to use a saw to cut a petal from a pine cone for Mary. And you need 1 whole star Anise and one piece of one, for the baby.

Start by laying out your five cinnamon sticks in the shape of a stable. When you get everything placed just right, lift each piece and put a little dab of hot glue. When you get it all fastened together, use the jute to tie it at each joint. Also tie a piece of jute at the top for a hanger.

Now, you're going to make the figures. Start by finding two whole cloves with good size bracts and two pretty good size allspice, too.

Pull the clove out of the bract and use your fingernail to clean it out good. Glue the allspice into the bract. This makes the head with a collar under it.

For Joseph, glue the clove down into the short piece of cinnamon stick.

For Mary, glue it to the back of the pine cone petal.

Sorry some of these photos are blurry. I was having trouble with the macro setting on my camera. I finally got it to work, so they get better. Now we're going to work on the star and the baby.

Some of the Star Anise will be broken, so if you can't find a whole one, or one you like anyway, then you can glue pieces together to make a whole. After you get your star chosen, pick one of the broken, single pieces to use for the baby's body.

The seed inside will be the body, the hull will be the manger, and you glue a small allspice to the open end for the head. Now, you're ready to put it all together. Using hot glue, fasten Joseph and Mary to the back of the bottom piece of the stable. Glue baby Jesus in front of them, head toward Mary. Glue your star at the point of the roof and you're done!

I love this little nativity. I got my first one at a yard sale about 10 years ago, and I've been meaning to make some more ever since, but never got around to it until now. I DID buy all the supplies 3 or 4 years ago, though, so I still honored my "no buy" challenge for this year! Children really like these little nativities, and they can make them with help. They make sweet gifts for Primary teachers, and it's a nice little project for Activity Day Girls and Young Women, too.

A man named Harlan Miller said he wished we could put some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar every month. I think the world would be a much better place if we had an endless supply of that spirit to call on when we feel contentious, or jealous, or blue. Maybe we'll have to come up with a project that would be somewhat comparable to one of those jars. Let's all think on it and see what we come up with. And by the way, there seems to be no cure for the common birthday, and I am a year older today. Until next time,

This post linked to:
Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou

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