Last year I posted about our "Elf on the Shelf" alternative. If you don't know about "Elf on the Shelf", he's a long lanky toy elf who always finds mischievous things to do each night while the kids are in bed. Well, our family has a bit of a crazy side and that family tradition just seems sooo fun! But my Catholic side never wanted to make an elf the center of Christmas fun. Sure elves are cute, but I try to not make Santa or his elves a focus at Christmas time. While I loved the idea of a cute character getting into a bit of innocent fun each night, I didn't like using an elf toy for this fun family tradition!
So, yes I "Baptized" the Elf on the Shelf idea!
At our house we have the three kings who are searching for baby Jesus each night! This tradition has turned into the talk of our Holiday conversations. The kids are thrilled! They ask about the Wisemen before they ask about a Christmas tree or gifts! So of course we have to do this again this year!!
I want to explain this tradition better for those who weren't following our blog last year:
Our three Kings: Balthazar, Melchior, Caspar, and their camel (who my kids have named, but I'm embarrassed to tell you what it is) are a handful! They are on the search for Jesus! Sometimes they can get into a bit of trouble as they struggle to find the Infant King.
Each night, during Advent till the Epiphany, my husband and I move the three wisemen to a new hiding spot and create a "situation" for them to get into or out of. Then, after our kids wake up each morning, they try to find the three Wise Men. Most days it's easy, but some days the kids have to search for awhile!
The only rule we made was that the three wise men have to find the Infant Jesus that belongs to their Nativity set. That's just to make it more interesting, since we have many nativity sets around the house. Their special nativity set remains hidden in my bedroom until Christmas. Then, Christmas Eve we pull out the nativity and set it up in a special spot. The wise men continue searching for Jesus until the feast of the Epiphany!
These three wise men and the Nativity set are from Playmobil. (sold separately - I sound like a commercial)
I liked these Wisemen because they are poseable. I do wish they were more poseable (like an action figure) but these work fine. Because they are poseable, it allows us to make them appear to be doing certain actions like, hold things, climb, slide, reach, etc. This makes them so much more fun!!
Typically, we would think that the wisemen should be following a star, so you may be asking, "Where's the star?" That is a fair question.
When we first started this tradition, we tried having the Wisemen follow a star, but it was hard to have them stay in a path and come up with places (on that path) for them to search. Plus, the kids knew where the Three Kings were going to be and the journey seemed to be kind of boring. So we changed our idea a bit: Now the Wisemen jump around the house and the kids enjoyed searching for them each morning.
I was upset to lose the star, but we decided to play on the Bible quote: "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to adore him." After reading that I figured the Wisemen were a little lost at some point even with the star to guide them. We told our kids that our house is like the city of Bethlehem and the Wisemen are searching Bethlehem for Jesus. We explained to the kids that it's not 100% like the Bible, but we all found it more interesting and fun this way.
Another change we have made since we started our tradition is the time our kings search. We originally were only going to do this from Christmas to the Epiphany, but the kids, my husband, and I were having so much fun with our new tradition that we started hiding the wisemen during Advent, too.
Our family has been enjoying this new tradition and we are ALL excited to see our three little amigos start the search again! So prepare yourself for some upcoming posts as we share photos of our Wisemen's Adventures!
I'm posting this a few weeks before Advent so you have a chance to buy a set for yourself. Our family has just loved this awesome family tradition! I encourage you to try it!
The cheapest place I found this set was on Amazon:
Note: Our Wise Men ADVENTures Link-up is now open!
Please pray for me, I'm always in need,
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