Sunday, October 25, 2009

Advent - Telling the Story

Wow - so much has been happening here! Ben guessed that the internet problem was no more than our elderly computer finally giving up on us, and he was right! He's bought a new (gulp, yes new) computer and spent yesterday setting it up, and here I am, no internet problems at all! We do now have a French keyboard, which is AZERTY instead of QWERTY - this is zhqt hqppens zhen you try to type English)style on it1So thanks for your very kind comments over the past week or so, and I look forward to getting back in touch with you all. This is my fourth pre-advent post, and I'm really enjoying your coments - thanks for taking the time to let me know what you think.
I was saying the other week that I think it’s a good idea to give children the basics of the Nativity Story. In the UK many children will take part in a Nativity Play at school, but even they get a bit muddled about which bits are in the Bible and which bits are additional fun for the school play! I know that in France and the USA, state schools can’t do that kind of religious, or even semi-religious play, so to me it’s a useful bit of basic education if children learn a little about the birth of Jesus at home. I’m not only writing for Christians here, as I know that many Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs in the UK are very happy for their children to take part in Nativity Plays, seeing them as education in the faith of others. Thus for people of any faith and none, knowing what is meant to have happened at the birth of Christ is a valuable addition to the stock of General Knowledge we carry with us in life. Indoctrination (for or against) should be optional!
You can tell the story with good picture books (of course, there are vintage Ladybird ones…), or with a Nativity Scene, which the French call a crèche. Lots of Advent count-down Nativity Scenes are now available – ours is Fair Trade (smug, smug, smug) but sadly no longer available. What’s really good is that the children can play with it and move the characters round as much as they want, as well as having the fun of finding the next item each day…
I hope that I'll be able to do a post on French crèche scenes and other story-telling goodies, when our technological backlog allows!For now, just tell me YOUR stories, please!


Michela said...

Bon dimanche Floss!
Glad you've sorted out your technological troubles!
Well, being Catholic the Nativity has got no secrets for me!
When I was a child I used to make a big crib with the help of my dear stepfather, with a village, mountains, a pond and even fairy lights!
I put Jesus into his cradle only on the 25th December and the Magi on the 6th January.
..not sure if you will ask us to post some pictures in the next future...
Now, being elder, sigh, I've got a small glass crib (aren't you curious to have a peak?!)
Have a good day! And thank you for hosting this interesting discussion!

beck said...

We don't have a nativitiy scene but I am on the look out for a nice wooden one. They are hard to find! I also thought about making one with the kids but who knows if I will get around to it. Glad the computer issues are over, are you loving the new computer? xo

Elizabethd said...

My mother had a very simple wooden 'creche', just a set of figures that we put out every Christmas. they were very much part of Advent for me.

Lululiz said...

Oh I am so glad you are back online again, welcome back!

My fondest Christmas memories are of my grandparents setting up their wonderful old nativity scene around the Christmas tree. They were beautiful old figures, the stable had been made, I think by my uncle when he was a young lad, and my grandmother and I would sometimes make more little buildings to extend the scene. I remember the little sheep so well, with their woolly coats. I can still feel them when I think about them, isn't that weird?

jus said...

I remember my mother making us an entire set from card, wool, glitter and felt. We loved it and it was played with all through December year after year. Eventually, when it really got tattered and torn we started replacing some of the figures, I remember my Sindy doll making an appearance as Mary and various dinosaurs taking the place of sheep...we even used a lego man dressed as a pirate when the tiny baby Jesus got lost.
I think it got "lost" after that as Mum thought it irreverent, Crikey I'd completely forgotten that memory, thanks for bringing it back.
Have a great week, x

Sarah said...

So glad you're back! Funny about the French keyboard, should be fun to read your blogs.

I just remembered a nativity scene my mother made while we lived in Papua New Guinea. It was made from blown out eggs. She made them into characters with pens and fabric. They lasted surprisingly long too.

We have a ceramic scene which is quite nice looking, nothing special though. We use the Sylvanian stable as it looks quite nice with the light on inside it. A bit of hay and off we go. A wooden one from the Trade Aid shop would be lovely though.

Martha's Favorites said...

Love that scene you created. Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings, Martha said...

So glad you are back on line properly! Love your pics. A church near to us , always has a nativity in a glass box outside. It is lovely! suzie. x