Friday, November 29, 2013
The Birthday Boy
I believe that grandparents are chosen by God to be part of a team that brings desire for heaven to our little ones. Whenever they see us pray, or do a kind deed, or offer a gesture of forgiveness, our grandchildren are motivated to do the same. In each of these acts, a priceless lifetime gift is delivered to them.
"The Birthday Boy" invites conversation about the childhood of Jesus. He, too, was born to parents who joyfully anticipated his arrival. He played with toys and learned to read and write. He had a birthday and loving grandparents. Yet we, his brothers and sisters, recognize him as God's only begotten son, born to us because the father we share so loved the world.
When I was in grade school, Franciscan sisters taught us to nestle a flaxen strand inside the bed of the holy infant every time we did a good deed. Each of the cribs I make for my six grandchildren will be accompanied by a little bag of straw. I will encourage them to do the same thing I did more than half a century ago. On Christmas morning, the "Birthday Boy" will lay down his sweet head on pillows of love made soft by the innocence of childhood.
Make a crib from 8 "Popsicle" sticks. Glue 2 sets of crossed sticks for head and foot pieces. Lay horizontal sticks as shown and glue to complete.
Add an optional twig to decorate with paper leaves and birds. Glue to crib as shown, top right corner.
Fill crib with excelsior, straw or similar material.
Make a pattern for Baby Jesus by cutting a 2.5" x 5" paper rectangle. Round corners on one 2.5" side for the head.
Trace pattern, centered, on a folded 7" square piece of unbleached muslin. Sew along traced line, leaving open at bottom. Trim fabric to 1/4" all around sewn line. Turn to right side.
Stuff body firmly so it is 3.5" long. Press firmly with hot iron to flatten it. Hand sew opening closed and trim excess fabric.
Cut a 1" x 36" strip of blue fabric. Cotton, flannel, or any lightweight material will do. Begin wrapping baby at an angle at neck. Crisscross fabric until bottom is reached, then hold in place with a few hand stitches.
Use a fine point permanent marker, such as Micron Pigma 005, to draw the eyes. Use pink craft paint and a fine point brush to add cheeks. Hair is a scrap of jute string attached with a hand stitch at center top of head. Glue an optional button to baby's chest for children over three years old. A heart shaped one is a good choice.
Cut a 3" round paper halo by hand or with a craft punch. Lay baby in crib on top of halo.
If using the attached twig, cut paper birds and leaves and glue on.......
Sing "Glory to the newborn king!"
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