Counting down….or maybe I’m counting up! In either case, it’s day 17 of my Christmas Creche Countdown for 2020! This has been a fun ‘exercise’ as I’ve spent time remembering, observing, and writing about each one of my nativities. I have several. Has anyone counted yet?

I’ve posted about well over 17 so far – as some posts feature more than just one creche. In fact, I just counted the ones I’ve featured, and I think I’ve already posted 34 of them BEFORE today! But, I still have plenty! Including some big ones and my most recent purchase, too! Can’t WAIT to show it to you. I simply love it!

But, today, I’m Celebrating Grandparenting! That’s the name of my first book published just about 18 months ago…a resource book full of ideas to intentionally connect with your grandchildren (or other children within your sphere of influence). It was fun to put together and it’s been more fun to see those who are reaping the rewards of having a copy. LOVE that it’s inspiring others to do things, make things, start conversations, and have fun activities with their grands.

The creches I’m sharing today are featured in that book. The Popsicle Stick Creche is a super easy craft for little ones. Hundreds – if not thousands – of little ones have made these over the years since WHOEVER the creative one was who first designed this! Seriously! And, it’s super easy.

Simply three popsicle sticks glued (using hot glue) in three places where they overlap to form a triangle (the stable). Add two clothespins (Mary & Joseph), using hot glue to attach them. With a saw or knife (ADULT TASK!) and shorten a third clothespin (Jesus), and attach (with hot glue) to the center bottom of the stable. OPTIONAL: You may or may not attach raffia for straw, and wrap “Jesus” depending upon your preferences. Next, attach a wooden star to the top of the stable (hot glue again). SUPER SIMPLE, right! But, a great creche for any collection. Mine wouldn’t be complete without it, as I have memories of making these with my own kids, and THEIR kids, and many other little ones over the years.

Making such crafts together ALSO leads to great conversations. Don’t let those opportunities slip away. Little ones grow up much too quickly. Enjoy each and every moment with them. (I know, I sound like a grandma, don’t I? Fine by me! I love that role!)

Here’s a variation of the popsicle creche. It’s larger. For it, you’ll use tongue depressers instead of popsicle sticks and a larger star. Notice, I used the other style of clothespins (in two different sizes) on this one, and didn’t wrap Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes. This one has shredded paper for the straw rather than raffia. There are so many things you or your little ones can do to ‘customize’ the clothespin creche ornaments, such as…

Write the date on the star. Add raffia all the way across the bottom of the manger. Add glitter to the star. Paint some or all of the creche. Punch a hole in the star for a ribbon. Wrap Mary & Joseph in cloth, too. Add sequins, glitter, beads, or whatever to ‘decorate’ the nativity however you (or your kiddos) want to. Many options. Get creative.

Here, the popsicle creche is shown WITHOUT a ribbon. Just place it over the end of a branch of the tree and it looks GREAT!

Another creche craft featured in my Celebrate Grandparenting book is the Terra Cotta Creche. I won’t include all the instructions (those who are crafty will be able to use the picture as a guide). If you WANT the instructions, just email me and I’ll send them to you. For this creche you’ll need two tiny clay pots, two wooden balls (3/4″ if I remember right), two smaller wooden balls (1/2″ maybe), one 5″ circle of fabric, cut in half, one piece of fabric about 2″ by 3″, raffia, paint, and a hot glue gun. (Just FYI: Baby Jesus consists of the two smaller wooden balls, glued together, then wrapped in the 2″x3″ fabric; In this picture, I have half of a 5″ circle of white material and half of a 5″ circle of blue material, but you could do it with the same fabric if you want to.) This Terra Cotta Creche is one my sister in law and I did with our granddaughters who were 3, 4, and 5 at the time. We had a Christmas ‘party’ with these second cousins and called them our Advent Angels. We made a birthday cake for Baby Jesus (and had a party), made this craft as well as a few others, frosted sugar cookies for the girls to take home to their families, watched a Christmas movie, read a couple of Christmas books, and started a new tradition! Those girls are now 14, 15, and 16! Where has the time gone?

Think about what YOU can do with your children or grandchildren, neighbor kids or kids at church! Find a child who needs a friend, and be a friend. Share a bit of joy this Christmas season by baking cookies, making candies, doing crafts, or reading Christmas books together. Cherish the time before the time is gone.

Merry Christmas. I’ll see you tomorrow with more from my Creche Collection!

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