Empty wooden or cardboard box
Raffia cut into small pieces
On the first Sunday of Advent we set up an empty manger.
The idea is that when acts of service, sacrifice, or kindness are done in honor of Baby Jesus as a birthday present, the child receives a piece of straw to put into the manger. The straw may be shredded yellow construction paper, yarn, or real straw. There may be one manger for the whole family or seperate ones for each person. Then, on Christmas morning, "Baby Jesus" is placed in the manger. Encourage your children to make Jesus' bed as "comfortable" as possible through their good deeds.
Here are some suggestions for the straw:
Acts of sacrifice
Acts of love
Prayers for the poor souls
The Rosary and other prayers
Doing extra chores without being asked
Going to Mass