Messing Up The Nativity

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
I was a little sad when I found it.

I walked into our dining room to turn the little light on in our Nativity display, yesterday afternoon, and this is what I found.

At first glance you might add everything up and realize this Nativity is on target. Cow? Check. Donkey? Check. Lamb? Check. Mary and Joseph? Check. Baby Jesus? Check. Angel? Check. Looks like all the figurines are accounted for. But what’s a rooster doing in there? And a chicken’s nest with eggs? I don’t seem to recall that being part of the story. Here’s a closer shot in case you missed it…

photo 3

The reason I was sad when I came upon our Nativity was this:

It used to get really messed up! I mean, really, really messed up. My 4-year old son is packed full of curiosity and can’t keep his hands off of anything. In past years, he could not keep his hands off of our Nativity display. There were days when we would find Mary lying outside of the Nativity, face down, and Baby Jesus in an entirely different room of the house sitting in the driver’s seat of a bulldozer or monster truck. So much for theological soundness!

I actually had a moment of sadness when all I found was a plastic rooster, nest of eggs, and no figurines moved around. For as frustrated as I get when my kids wreck things in our house, I lamented quietly for a moment as I stood staring at the display. “He’s growing up,” I realized.

And then, I questioned myself. “Did all of my demanding that he not touch our Nativity sink in so much that this adventurous part of his childhood was now gone?” “Did my lecturing on how fragile the pieces are and how this isn’t a toy, formulate a concrete ‘keep curiosity to a minimum‘ attitude that he’ll now carry into adulthood?”

I know, I know! Children need boundaries. They must understand that things are breakable and irreplaceable. There are rules that need to be enforced! But, to what degree? How far do we take it? Until their adventurous spirit is squelched? Until their passion is dried up? Until their childlike wonder is dictated by a ‘will I get scolded for this,’ fear?

I’ll never forget the day, a few years back, when my daughter brought home a picture of her hand prints with poem attached that moved me to tears. This is what it said- “Sometimes you get discouraged because I am so small.  And always leave my fingerprints on furniture and walls.  But everyday I’m growing I’ll be grown up someday, and those tiny handprints will surely fade away.  So here’s a final handprint just so you can recall, exactly how my fingers looked when I was very small.”

Truthfully, I kind of miss the messed up Nativity. I’m saddened that I didn’t have to go on a search for Baby Jesus this time. I suddenly wish my son wasn’t growing up so fast. I fear that next year, I may find nothing messed up at all. As weird as it sounds, I was subtly joyful to find Baby Jesus in the driver’s seat of a toy combine or Joseph attending a tea party with a Power Ranger!

Question- Are there things your children do that frustrate you now but you will miss someday when their grown up?

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.