Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent Day 2: Bethlehem Lunch

Advent Day 2-
"Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in Bethlehem at the time Jesus was born?  What was it like to be Mary, Joseph, the Inn Keeper, the Shepherds?  Today we'll pretend we are in Bethlehem.  We'll eat the food they may have eaten and act out the Christmas Story...and guess what?  We won't do it alone...."

We made plans a month or more ago for our annual get together with some good friends.  As I was planning advent, I emailed asking if they'd like to to the Bethlehem Dinner together.  As some do it anyway, they all kindly agreed...what fun!

As with most of the best laid hastily made over email plans, all did not go as planned.  We had to move our shindig because the hosting family had the stomach flu.  We all missed them.


Middle Eastern Traveling Fare- Meet and Spinach pies, pita, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, pomegranate, olives, feta, grapes, dates....yummo.  

Eager listeners as we explain the food;) 

Liked the Pomegranates sweet but sour kick;)

Now even for my half lebanese children who have this type of food a through out the year, it is fun to try, but does not consitute dinner.  We mamas know this...and we don't want grumpy, hungry children.  So...

This is our shoes string fries which symbolize hay,  Our Jesus in a manger, mini bagel dog with a cheese blanket, and our animals made from veggies and tooth picks.  

After lunch.. and after baklava for dessert;),  We did our own little nativity play- complete with make up courtesy of Miss Roxanne, Narration by Yours Truly, and dad's willing to improvise to fill in parts vacated by sick family;)

The Shepherds visiting Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph;) 

A small taste of our excellent, well rehearsed, professional production;)

 The cast

The pig, who was supposed to be in the stable, but refused to wear her pig hat, and then refused to be in the play because all she wanted to do was hold baby Jesus- LOL

One of the coolest things for me- Roxanne brought REAL Frankincense and we were able to burn it and smell the cool!

Then I made each of the kids little necklaces with a key on the end and read the A Prayer for December.

I talked about how people were waiting for Jesus the Savior for hundreds of years, but the night he was born, no one expected to see him as a poor baby and had no room for him.  The missed out on seeing the SAVIOR born, on being apart of one of the greatest days in history.  I then reminded them, that when Jesus was on earth, he said, if you take care of the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, you are caring for him.  The key is to remind us to keep the doors of the inn's of our heart, open and unlocked and welcome whatever Jesus wants to do there.  Sometimes it is hard and messy, but what we do for the least of these, we do for Jesus.  I don't think the littlest ones got it, but I was very blessed when putting Ava to bed to hear her pray, "Lord, help me keep my heart open to you and to see what you want me to do for you." 

My Little Shepherd 

The Angels...yes we sang Gloria- cuz who can resist singing "Glo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-or-ria" when there are halos involved.

LOVELY day, with LOVELY friends...celebrating the miracle of Christ's birth... God who was made flesh and dwelt among us.  How thankful I am to take time to really remember how AMAZING that is!

*Photos courtesty of Roxanne Engstrom;), (she also included some funny details about the day, that I neglected to remember while jacked up on Cold medications;)


  1. It was soo fun! Thanks for all your work to make it special! We talked again today about always making room in our hearts and asking Him to keep us open to Him! love you!!

  2. Beautiful advent traditions! Love that you do something different every day, such special times that the children will never forget!

  3. I am tearing up about what ava said! I love it :) Karla