Not Just for Christmas
One of you recently asked for tips on toy organization...and this week is the week for that post! It's already in the works! The question about toy organization really got me thinking about how we organized and presented toys around here, which got me reorganizing things. One of the results of that reorganization (of which the grand reveal will be later this week!) was a new space to put catechetical materials for Sister Stinky. One of the catechetical materials I have out for her right now is this simple, plastic, thrifted Nativity set. I was inspired to present it to her after recently presenting a lesson on the Holy Family to the 1st graders I teach in a local children's faith formation program.
Initially, when I bought it, I was fully intending to save it for Christmas. But then, inspired by the Infancy narratives presented in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd -- which are left out on the shelves year-round -- I decided to try leaving this material out for Sister Stinky. It's quickly become one of her favorite things to play with! The story of the Incarnation isn't just for Christmas, you know!
As an aid in our play, I've also placed a lovely icon of the Holy Family on her shelf. (She recently learned St. Joseph's name, and she already loves pointing out Mary and Jesus.) She also enjoyed reading the book Who is Coming to our House, to think more about the night when Jesus was born.
Really, the Infancy narratives are perfect for where she's at in her faith right now. She has a definite fascination with any and all images of the infant Jesus and His mother. (Every time she sees a picture like this she excitedly shouts, "Mary! Baby!") The beauty of the Incarnation is that God became a little baby/toddler like Sister Stinky. What better way to catechize her about God's love than to show her how He became a small child (like her!) for love of her?
We are both enjoying contemplating the relationship of Mary and her baby, especially since it is a relationship similar to our own (one of a mother and her small child). In my most difficult moments, I find solace in knowing that Mary survived the process of mothering a toddler (and Jesus survived the process of being a toddler). There's hope for us! ;-)