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Instead of Elf On The Shelf, You Can Move Mary And Joseph Around Your Home To Help Them Get To Bethlehem

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Do you suffer through celebrate all things Elf on the Shelf every holiday season?

It is SO hard to come up with creative things to do with him every year, isn’t it?!? It almost kills the Christmas vibe for those parents in charge of keeping up the charade.

Now, there is the coolest alternative to constantly moving around your Elf on the Shelf, and it doesn’t entail coming up with elaborate scenarios each night for your mischievous little red and white dude.

In fact, it adds a little Christ back into Christmas, which is something that is so important to some of us.

It is being dubbed as the “Journey to Bethlehem,” and it is so sweet and easy!!

It’s a great way to bring “The Christmas Story” to life in your home just in time for Christmas day.

You start with a Nativity Scene that has individually moveable characters (Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Wise Men, Donkeys, Angels, etc).


Basically, you just separate Mary and Joseph from the rest of the Nativity party.

Why? They have to make their voyage to the city of Bethlehem in time for Christmas Eve, for the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.


You “hide” Mary and Joseph (and don’t forget their donkey) in a different location around the house each night, and then it’s like a scavenger hunt for the kids to find where they end up.

 I like this idea & never thought about it. Thank you! Will do it for my grandkids’ understanding.

Getting to the Heart of Your Child comment by Laura

Then, on Christmas Eve, they meet up with the rest of the Nativity Party, and thus the story of “The First Christmas” unfolds.

If you want to delve even more into the Nativity Story, you can read a passage or two of the “Christmas Story”* each night when the kids find where Mary and Joseph have moved.

What a sweet idea! I love this so much better than the Elf idea.

Getting to the Heart of Your Child comment by Ruth

OR, you can even work on memorizing the “Christmas Story” as a family. Each night, the family can learn a new verse or two from the story. Then, by Christmas day, the family will be able to recite the entire thing!

(You can find the Christmas story in two different places in the Bible: Matthew 1-2 or Luke 1-2.)

If you need some ideas for a nativity scene, Amazon has this Kid Nativity Scene that is super cute!!


If you want something a bit more traditional, they also have this beautiful Resin Nativity Set.


But, my current nativity scene obsession is this Gnome Nativity Set! Gah!! Totally whimsical and fun, right?!?


* The Bible story, NOT the movie. LOL!!

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