With Miles about to turn 3, this will be the first Christmas he is completely verbal and it's already been so much fun seeing and hearing his excitement. He points out every Christmas decoration he sees, wants to watch every single Christmas special that comes on TV (Wild Kratts Christmas, anyone?) and is already wearing Christmas jammies to bed. The consumerism of Christmas has already gotten through to him, though, and after every single toy commercial he says "I want that for Christmas!" So we are trying to find ways to refocus him and teach him what Christmas is really about.
Enter one of our favorite things to come out this year: Soft Enough for a King.
Soft Enough for a King is a beautifully illustrated book, doll, manger and strips of paper "straw" that have a spot you can record acts of service on. And it all comes in a gorgeous box that you can store it in for years to come.
The story in the book is SO SWEET. It's the story of Abe, the son of Innkeepers who have to turn a special couple away when they don't have any room in their inn. Abe gets the idea to let them stay in the stable behind the inn, but wants to make sure that the manger has fresh straw for their baby. On his way to the market to get the straw, he keeps encountering people who need his help, so he has to make the decision to stop and help or keep going to get the straw before the market closes. It may be my mom hormones, but I totally cried the first time I read it. It's beautifully simple and a really great way for Miles and Matilda to start learning about serving others.
And the illustrations are by one of our favorite illustrators, Micah Player, which makes us love it all even more.
Miles liked the story, but he really loved filling the manger with straw. We explained that we'll slowly fill it each day with the kind things our family does. When he helps mommy clean up his room, plays with Matilda and shares his toys, and does other things to serve others, we'll record it on a piece of straw and he can fill the manger for the baby.
If you want to start your own Christmas tradition, you can get Soft Enough for a King from their website, softenough.com