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Create a Good Deed Manger

Inspirations by D
Hello there!  I hope that you are enjoying the decorating festivities around blog land.  Today I wanted to share something that I have been wanting for a long time and I finally got it done this year.  I asked Mr. M if he could make a small manger out of the scrap wood we had in the garage.  He wanted to make it beautiful, but I asked that he make it simple and old looking.  So this lovely manger is imperfect, but that is why I find it perfect.

This manger will serve as a Good Deed Manger at our home.  A Good Deed Manger is a Christmas activity that teaches children the importance of good deeds and acts of kindness.  This family activity centers on an empty manger during the time of Advent. By doing good deeds, children as well as adults, earn pieces of hay, that are used to fill the empty manger.  So every time a good deed is done, for others, you place hay in the manger.  In doing acts of kindness, they learn of it's importance and by the end of Advent, the manger should be cozy for the arrival of baby Jesus on Christmas morning. We have already begun filling the manger with hay for good deeds the family has done, like helping folks stranded on the road with their car, providing food for those in need and helping senior citizens push a cart, buying someone a warm get the idea.

You may place a Nativity scene around the manger if you like. The manger does not have to be like this one, the manger can be made of anything, cardboard, shoe box, and other materials.  Did you know that the actual manger Jesus was laid in was made of stone?

If you want yours made out of wood, then this one is pretty basic. For the platform inside, we used a piece of wood and just laid it in, it's not even attached, that way I can move it around.  You can see it on the images below.

The measurements for the boards are:
-legs are 17" long 2" wide
-the two boards on the short end are 12" x 10"
-the longer boards you see attached to legs are 17" x 6" wide

I used a pre-stain wood conditioner to prep the wood (it gives it an even tone when stained
I then used the same stain method I used here.


On Christmas morning, the manger should have enough hay for baby Jesus and should look
something like this. Any baby doll can be used.  Thank you for stopping by and I hope that
this has inspired ideas for your Christmas.

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