Goose and I made our own nativity out of found objects (and a wholelotta tape) to learn the Luke 2 story of Jesus' birth. Here's how we did it:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. ~ Luke 2:1-2
One of Goose's wooden toy men was recruited for the role of Caesar. We wrapped him in a scrap of red paper (how regal!) and tape.
And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. ~ Luke 2:3-6
This Joseph/Mary/Baby Jesus figurine was given to my sister years ago by my now deceased grandma. Then my sister passed it on to Goose. And no matter where we live, Goose keeps this figurine on our dining table to play with and look at while she eats. By using it in our nativity project, we have built context around the figurine so when it goes back to sitting alone on our dining table in January, Goose will have a broader understanding of its symbolism.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:7
The creche itself was fun to design and build. While I was the architect, Goose was subcontracted to handle the infrastructure taping. This thing is now rated a Cat 5 hurricane shelter.
To give the creche a bit more dimension (and provide Goose more taping work), we cut a paper bag into strips and overlaid them for a thatching effect.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2:8-12
Not sure how many gingers were in Bethlehem back then, but this little Lego boy is playing the role of shepherd boy nicely. The sheep are fashioned out of folded paper, cotton balls and Sharpie details (not my best work).
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” ~ Luke 2:13-14
The angels were fun. I printed the faces on cardstock, glued three Popsicle sticks together and used construction paper and a bent paperclip to really make them razzle dazzle.
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. ~ Luke 2:15-20
You're correct: no mention of a star in the Luke 2. The star (and the wise men) are mentioned over in Matthew 2. We decided to go ahead and add the star in our nativity since it was probably in the sky that first night. We didn't add the wise men, though, because they showed up much later when the family was living in their own home.
The backdrop is a large piece of blue construction paper folded over a piece of cardboard for stability. Goose and I perused a Nordstrom catalog and clipped out anything in shades of blue to glue on for a stained glass effect. So if you look closely, you can see the sky is made out of leather jackets, a purse, several swimming pools and a perfume bottle. The star is just a clipping of a gold bracelet from a catalog glued to a larger star in white to help it stand out from the background.
So here's the finished product. I didn't intend to keep the nativity set after this Christmas was over, but now it has kind of grown on me and we may keep it around a few extra weeks.
That said, I would like to start the tradition that we make a new nativity each year because it was a lot of fun and kept our focus on the celebration of Jesus' birth, the whole point of the holiday.
Have you ever tried making a nativity set? How did it go?