we have a favorite Christmas tradition. Every year, after Thanksgiving dinner and the tree is up we get out a very crudely built cradle and place it near the tree. For every random act of kindness we do, we can put a piece of straw in the cradle. We do this the entire month until Christmas eve. On Christmas eve "baby Jesus" is laid in the cradle. If we have given of ourselves and helped others for no other reason than because it was a nice act, "baby jesus" will have a soft bed to lay his head on. If not, we don't discuss it, but it's clear that we didn't think more of others and we get to reflect on that as we enjoy Christmas. I got that out of a magazine many many years ago and it really helped my kids understand better what Christmas is all about and it makes them want to help more. I can proudly say that every year but one " baby Jesus" has always had a very comfortable bed.
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