We started off our day, yesterday, with my favorite of the children's Christmas movies - Exclaim Entertainment's The Very First Noel.
It's a great story, the Nativity, told from the point of view of the wise men, and narrated by Andy Griffith. Although, it borrows from extra Biblical tradition to give names and nationalities to the wise men (three of them), and it has them arriving in Bethlehem at about the same time as the shepherds, it does stay very true to the much of the Bible account. And, what I love most, is that it centers on Jesus, His birth, and the excitement of that Good News.
The soundtrack is festive and peppy, the writing, incorporating Christmas carols into the dialogue, is clever, and the animation adorable.
If you can't find it on DVD (it's only eight years old, but it's already nearly impossible to buy), it is streaming, for now, on YouTube (here).
We followed the movie with a Perler© Bead, Nativity craft (click the link to go to the Perler© pattern) ***This link appears to be broken, I'm not sure for how long. Until I can find an alternate link, or this one is restored, there is a scanned copy of the printout out we used originally at the bottom of this post, to use as a pattern***
It's a big project, with a lot of tiny piece-work. The children worked on an off throughout the morning, calling me to handle the iron, whenever they had another figure ready. In the end, I think my youngest two did most of the work. But, everyone took a turn placing at least a few beads into the pattern - for a fun, family, craft time.