Last time we were at our local Christian book/goods store (one of Henry's favorite places; he's a total knickknack fan), Hank expressed an interest in the large display of Fontanini nativity sets. I'm sure some of you are familiar with them. The figurines are quite beautiful, but also quite expensive. This is coming from the household wherein the featured nativity set is made by Fisher Price, so you can see where I'm coming from on this. I told him that we could explore maybe getting the Holy Family starter set if he promised to take really good care of them. I mean, I think just Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are upwards of $50, so this is a much swankier set than we're used to. But I thought maybe it would be good for him to have a nice set that he could care for and take with him when he has his own home someday. And this is a set that you can build on each year. I mean, if you take a look at the sheer volume of figures they have available, with new ones coming out every year, it's mind boggling. You can have the entire ancient Middle East partying at your nativity set.
Anyway, I read something the other day about having the family nativity set be "interactive," such as by not putting Jesus in the manger until Christmas day (something to look forward to) and having the three wise men travel across the living room slowly building up to the epiphany. I thought this was a great idea and suggested it when Hank asked after the nativity set idea yesterday (because yes, he'd like to put the nativity set out now).
"How about during Advent, we put out Mary and Joseph, but keep baby Jesus hidden until Christmas eve..."
...as I turn around, I can already see Hank shaking his head, "no."
"Oh no, Mommy. I don't want to do that. Not put out baby Jesus?! No, we couldn't possibly do that."
He was quite scandalized. But very excited that I'm willing to explore getting him a nice nativity set that he can keep in his room ("We don't want Anne getting into it and breaking anything," he says with a Very Serious Expression).