It is the first Sunday of Advent and the girls are very excited. We unpack the nativity set, and we place Mary and Joseph in the stable, next to the empty manger. They are waiting for the birth of Jesus.

I know a family who have a slightly different tradition. Mary and Joseph travel around their house before they arrive at the stable on Christmas Eve. Then the Wise Men set out on their own journey, following the star until they too reach the stable on the Feast of the Epiphany. I rather like this way of doing things. It makes more sense than our way. But I guess it doesn't really matter if we continue to do things as we've always done them...

In our house, Mary and Joseph wait... and the Wise Men set out on their journey at the beginning of Advent. For the next few weeks, the first question our children will ask each morning is...

Where will the Wise Men be today?

They could be anywhere.

Who will find them first?

When do your Wise Men begin their journey, following the star to the stable at Bethlehem? 

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  1. Why did the three Wise Men have such difficult names to remember? Why not call them Rudolph, Vixen and Donner?

  2. Elisa,

    Thank you for visiting! I really enjoyed putting these photos together. I'm having fun doing some visual things here rather than story writing. I love all the wonderful photos and images on your blog. You inspired me to try some of my own!

    God bless.

  3. Victor,

    I can't even remember the names of the reindeer. Do you know them all?

  4. Dasher

  5. Hahahaa that is CUTE!! :)

    And yes, I know all the reindeer names too. But I am also a big enough dork that I know all fifty US states in alphabetical order off the top of my head. No I am not kidding. Also the books of the bible.. old and new testament.. in order. I know.. I am mental...

  6. Susan,

    I wish my memory was as good as yours!

    We're more fortunate than you because we only have 6 states and 2 territories of Australia to learn. That's only 8 capital cities!

    I bet you know all your presidents in order too! How about the kings and queens of England? Do you learn them? Victor might know them!

    God bless.

  7. I am afraid I don't know all the presidents, (I could probably only even name half of them), and no, I'm afraid I couldn't name all the British royalty either. My Granny can list off every member of the Kennedy clan, including who they married, their children, and their birth dates!! The Kennedy family is her favorite subject, and she reads all she can on them. :)

    To be fair, I learned the states in the 4th grade. I learned the bible books as a child... as part of my protestant religious education. Most protestant kids here can name them also. My Catholic children cannot, though. I am just happy for them to know their catechism and their prayers!

  8. Susan,

    Catechism and prayers? That's all my children know by heart too. They learnt Father Tierney's 50 catechism Questions and Answers. These are on the Bush Boys blog.

    How are you getting on learning the new Mass translation responses? We've been using them for some months and I'm thinking we should know them by now. Maybe some concerted effort needed here!

  9. Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, Yorks, Tudors, Stuarts, Hanover, Windsor.

  10. And the individual kings and queens? Can you list those, Victor?

  11. How is cute is this! How are you making the pictures with the text?

  12. Noreen,

    I spent a little time photographing our Three Wise Men in all sorts of places around our house.

    I then imported my photos into Picnik, the photo editing website. I have a subscription so I can access all the special features.

    I framed each photo with the polaroid option and added text to each one. I chose one of the fancy fonts, made the words the right size and positioned them on the photos how I wanted, then saved each photo to my computer.

    I imported the edited photos into my blog post. Voila! Easy!

    You'll have to try it!

  13. Love this so much! Where did you get your 3 wise men? They're adorable...and child friendly. I love visiting your blog. I've decided to give up social media for Advent so I look forward to peeking into your space again come Christmas. I'm hoping the time away will give me some clarity on what to do about my own personal blog which has been very quiet save the very occasional picture post. God Bless You Sue!

    1. Elizabeth,

      We made our nativity set about 17 years ago from a few cornflake boxes and some felt and some odds and ends of ribbon etc. We used a Jean Greenhowe pattern (which I seem to have lost). I don't suppose it would be very difficult to replicate the pattern.

      We have a few nativity sets but this is the one we love the best. I guess that's because we remember making it together. And yes, it's very child friendly! We don't have to worry about anyone dropping the figures.

      Giving up social media for Advent is such a good idea. I've thought about it too, but I have a few grief posts to share on one of my other blogs (ones that can also be found here) and a couple of ideas for new posts. It might seem a strange topic for Advent and Christmas, but Christmas is such a difficult time for those grieving.

      I love looking at your photos. Unlike mine, they are so professional! Perhaps you could think about adding some posts about your own baby losses - early miscarriage - as you mentioned in the comments a few posts back.

      Yes, it is hard sometimes to decide what to do about blogging. I often have times when I think I will exit quietly and go do something else. But I know I would miss writing and all the friends I have made.

      Thank you for supporting my blog, Elizabeth. It is always such a delight to see a comment from you. I look forward to catching up with you again at Christmas.

      God bless!

  14. We set up the nativity set on 24th and then the Three Wise Men begin their journey.

    1. Miu,

      That sounds a great way to do things. I can imagine all the anticipation. I wonder if you decorate your tree on Christmas Eve too. We try to leave the tree as close to Christmas as we can, but usually we give in and decorate a few days early. The children get so excited and can never quite wait until the 24th.

      God bless!

    2. Yes, we decorate the tree on Christmas Eve, usually in the morning when we also set up the nativity set.
      It has always been this way and for me it is slightly strange to read of all the families who already have their trees decorated.
      We do not even have a tree yet^^

    3. Miu,

      Yes, I agree that some things really belong to Christmas rather than Advent, like the tree. Ideally, it shouldn't go up and be decorated before Christmas Eve. I guess people get excited and can't wait even though Advent is a time of waiting. Or maybe that's the way they've always done it and that feels right to them.

      We haven't got any Christmas decorations up yet. We'll probably get the tree out the weekend before Christmas. We usually leave it bare for a few days.

      Our nativity set belongs to Advent because the children like to earn straws for the stable floor, by making sacrifices in the lead up to Christmas. I added another photo so you can see. By the time Christmas Eve arrives, there should be a thick layer of straw covering the floor!

      Yes, different families seem to have different traditions. The way we do things binds our families together. I wonder if our children will celebrate the same Advent and Christmas traditions when they leave home, or whether they'll adopt some new ones of their own.

      God bless!

  15. Sue, your wise men in the hanging saucepan has started my morning with a giggle. We are starting Advent today as we've been away for two days on a Guide camp. Well we'll start it once I am able to pry my very tired eyes open properly ... lol

    1. Lisa,

      The Guide camp sounds fun! My younger girls are hoping to join Guides after Christmas.

      Yes, the Wise Men end up in some strange places. All part of the fun of Advent and Christmas. I'm going to have to come up with some new places to hide the Kings. Maybe the hiding spots need to be a bit trickier now that our children are getting older.

      God bless!

  16. Sue- Your Wise men are adorable! We collect nativities- a new one every Christmas Eve. I have been wanting to add a homemade one to our collection but have not found one I really love (and feel confident I can make) I might have to try to copy yours though.

    Your tradition reminds me a little of the "Elf on the Shelf" trend that seems to be huge around here these days. I am not a huge fan of that idea but traveling Wise Men showing up in different spots everyday would be loads of fun.

    Thanks for sharing and for, once again, bringing a smile to me face with your creativity.

    God Bless, Kari

    BTW- Now that it is December and November is behind us, I feel like I am finally able to keep up with blog reading again(among other things, like laundry and dishes). How are you doing post NaNo?

    1. Kari,

      I love your idea of collecting nativities. How special to set up a new one each Christmas Eve. Our home-made set was easy to make. I didn't even buy anything special. I just used whatever was available. The figures' clothes should be made from felt but I didn't have any so I used fleece. It worked!

      Is Elf on the Shelf an American tradition? I'd never heard of it before I saw it on someone's blog. The kids do find it fun following the Wise Men's journey. Even though they are growing up, they still want to retain all the traditions we have been doing for years. I think it's the traditions and special family games that bind a family together. I seem to remember discussing this with you last year. Maybe it was when you wrote about how your family loves to watch out for wreaths on people's doors (?)

      November is a very busy month with all that writing! It was good to finish my novel so I could write about other things. I did enjoy NaNo though. Have you started editing your novel? I am going to leave my draft until after Christmas. We have our long summer holiday at Christmas so this will be a good time to work on it.

      God bless!


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