You may be wondering why I am talking about a Christmas Tradition in February. This is a book written by Carolyn Walz Kramlich. It tells the Christmas Story from the point of view of Mary, relating the events of the Savior's birth to her Grand-daughter. Well, the fact of the matter is that this book can be quite costly if you are not looking throughout the year for it. I was first introduced to this book a couple of years ago. I attempted to get it in that Christmas season, and the cheapest I could find it was for around $80.00. I decided to wait until the following year.
I purchased this book, along with a companion book called Benjamin's Box around Easter of last year. I guarantee that it was much more reasonably priced at that time. Even as of this writing, it is running between $23.00 and $25.00 on a number of websites. You can see how I made my own Benjamin's Box by going here.
Well, I used some of the items from Benjamin's Box and added the other pieces to accompany Mary's Treasure Box.
I wanted to be authentic, so I found real Frankincense and Myrrh in this beautiful set sold at our local Catholic Supply Store. I also found these online. Don't wait until the last minute, I learned that I was lucky to have purchased the last set in the local store.
Some of the items that are needed are boxes/containers for the Frankincense and Myrrh. Initially I found little cardboard boxes at my local craft store. However, I came across these ring boxes that seemed to fit the story best. They were not very expensive either. The gold bracelet that is called for in this story is actually a hanging earring base that is intended for additional beads etc to be attached to it. (I have, however, cut off a small circle that was on the opposite side of the small circles that is intended for the earing hook to be attached too). I guess that I felt it looked a little 'regal' with the other small circles still attached..
I made "Treasure boxes" for each of my married children who have had little ones at home. I placed Frankincense in one box and Myrrh in another. I learned that I needed to put a rubber-band on the round box as the lid easily slid off and the contents would spill. (I gave my adult children instructions to remove it before the story was read to the grandchildren).
You will also need a 'flute' (a small toy whistle), and wool.
I took poly-fill (like you would put in a quilt or a pillow) and rubbed a sharpie marker in certain spots. I them just rubbed the poly-fill against itself to make the grey wool. In addition, you will need a piece of linen which I found in my fabric scraps.
The book essentially calls for 2 different bundles. I put the stated items into squares of maroon and gold fabrics with blue and maroon ribbons (as shown in the book).
Place both bundles in a wooden box (which I picked up at the craft store)
So, how did we read this book to our grandchildren in different parts of the country? I made a power-point with the pictures from the book. I scheduled an on-line meeting (from a free service) so that they could see us. I should have uploaded the power-point a day or two or ahead of time, but didn't. It took too long to upload and we were trying to read this to them before they went to Church etc. (We only had 30 minutes that might have worked for everyone on both coasts and in between) Thus, we winged it and read the story and showed the pages. (Lesson learned for next time).
As we came to each point in the story where each item was needed, the children and their parents took them out of their bundles and experienced the story with actual items. I think we all really liked the real Frankincense and Myrrh!
Now, the parents can purchase their own copy of the book if they wish, or let us read it to their children again....it's up to them.
However, if you wish to do this, start early. It is worth the effort.