Here's a nice idea that I found on the front of the church bulletin today:
'One Advent tradition is known as the 'Good Deeds Manger'. This is an ideal way for families to prepare together. Instead of putting your crib up with all the figures, long before Christmas arrives, put an empty manger in a prominent part of the house. By the side of the manger place some hay or something similar. Each evening try to come together as a family and talk about the good things that each one has done for others during the day - it may simply be sharing of sweets, or helping Mum in the kitchen without being asked. For each good deed that it done, the person who has done the good deed places one piece of hay into the manger. On Christmas Eve, the Baby Jesus is placed in the manger on the soft bed that has been made with the family's good deeds.'
It's a nice idea, but I envisage a few problems in this house........
1. '...come together as a family and talk about the good things each one has done for others during the day....'
Yes, well, I can't see that being much of a conversation.
2. '.....helping Mum in the kitchen without being asked......'
3. '......the Baby Jesus is placed in the manger on the soft bed that has been made with the family's good deeds.....'
I can't see the bed being that soft, somehow.
Look, we'll give it a go.
I may be proved completely wrong.
It is nearly Christmas after all.