And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (NKJV)
This December we are renewing a Christmas tradition we began long ago, the Good Deed Manger. It all started when our oldest two children were little and I was reading Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul. One story was about a mom with four children who was having trouble with them arguing and fighting during December. So, she began a Good Deed Manger.
The story was a real tear-jerker and hard for me to finish reading aloud to my family. But we read it each year, nonetheless, and made our own Good Deed Manger. The first year, Kallie, Jacob and their Daddy built the manger you see in this picture, it was a little crooked, just like in the story. Some family members went outside to collect dry grass or straw to put in a bucket near the manger.
Then we all wrote our names on slips of paper and put them in a Christmas hat. We took turns drawing names until everyone had one. It was a secret, so no one could know whose name we had. That was the person we would do good deeds for all week, without them seeing us. Each time we did a good deed, we could put a straw in the manger, trying to make a soft bed for baby Jesus. Every Sunday night we would draw new names and continue with the good deeds. On Christmas Eve we put a baby doll in the manger to be the Baby Jesus. We hoped the bed was soft enough for Him because of all our good deeds.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: Make a Good Deed Manger with your family this December! If you can find Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul at your library, look for the original story (p. 68 “The Last Straw”). and read it aloud together. Better yet, read the story of our Savior’s birth in Luke 2. Then have a blessed Christmas season, surprising everyone with good deeds.
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Luke 2:16 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.